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After her arrest Berenson defended the MRTA, praising its members as courageous freedom fighters:
I am to be condemned for my concern about the conditions of hunger and misery which exists in this country. Here nobody can deny that in Peru there is much injustice. There is an institutionalized violence that has killed the people’’s finest sons and has condemned children to die of hunger. If it is a crime to worry about the subhuman conditions in which the majority of this population lives, then I will accept my punishment. But this is not a love of violence. This is not to be a criminal terrorist because in the MRTA there are no criminal terrorists. It is a revolutionary movement.
According to the Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups by Stephen E. Atkins, MRTA raises money for its war against the Peruvian government by kidnapping businessmen and holding them for ransom. It also carries out assassinations, bombings, and ambushes. In 1996 the group stormed the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima. After a five month ordeal, 71 hostages were rescued in a commando raid in which all 14 MRTA rebels were killed. MRTA is reportedly responsible for the murders of more than 200 people.
Not surprisingly, Berenson is widely despised in Peru. About 70,000 people were killed or “disappeared” in the 1980s and 1990s during that nation’s struggle against armed insurgents. In the upscale neighborhood in Lima where she now lives, people reportedly come up to Berenson on the street and insult and threaten her.
But it’s only a matter of time before Berenson’s hostility to civilized values makes her a star in the Left’s ever growing constellation of miscreants. Despite her lack of academic credentials, an Ivy League school somewhere will give her tenure.
Perhaps MSNBC will make her an anchor or the Center for American Progress will award her a senior fellowship. A President Ron Paul might even make her U.S. ambassador to Peru.
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