NYC native Lori Berenson was set free Thursday after almost 15 years in Peruvian prisons on a conviction of aiding leftist rebels. Her release caused widespread controversy in Peru, where she's perceived by some as a terrorist for her participation in a foiled terrorist plot to take the Peruvian Congress hostage in the mid-'90s. As part of her parole, Berenson is required to stay in Peru for five more years, and she proceeded directly from prison to an apartment in the upscale Miraflores neighborhood in Lima, where she was greeted by neighbors shouting, "Go away, terrorist!"

"I don't know whose idea it was to put this terrorist here as a neighbor," another neighbor told the AP. It was a chaotic scene when Berenson left prison; she had to fight her way through a throng of reporters to get to the car driven by her husband, attorney and former inmate Anibal Apari. (Before they could drive away, two reporters even jumped in the back seat with them.) Berenson's parents had flown from New York to Lima earlier that week and taken her one-year-old son to the apartment separately. Her parents "came not just for the joy of their daughter's release but also to help childproof the apartment," the AP reports.

Berenson is now trying to get the government to release her from parole and let her return to America with her son. (She and Apari are separating.) But it could prove a tough sell politically; many in Peru are already outraged that she's even out of prison. Peru's justice minister, Victor Garcia, said during a radio interview that the Cabinet could decide to commute the sentence and expel Berenson, but added that "this is a really nasty situation for Peruvians." And retired judge who presided over Berenson's 2001 retrial is also adamantly opposed to her release, telling Christian Science Monitor, "Terrorist organizations inflicted a great deal of suffering and loss on Peru. I believe that parole should be the exception and not the rule in these cases, with judges being much more rigorous in their analysis."