NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After more than a decade locked up in Peru, New Yorker Lori Berenson is back at home.

CBS2’S Jay Dow was at Newark Liberty Airport for a family reunion long in the making.

Berenson did not look like a political prisoner as she walked through the airport this morning with her two and a half year old son in tow.  The American activist is back in the United States for the first time since 1995, when Peruvian authorities arrested her for aiding a rebel group.

Berenson was allowed to leave Peru in order to spend the holidays with her family in New York City.

She declined to speak to reporters, but her mother, Rhoda Berenson said that the stress of the case has taken a toll on her grandson.

“The baby has had several incidents of the press really crushing in on him,” she said.

Berenson was paroled last year, after serving 15-years on an accomplice” to terrorism conviction.”

She was initially kept in Peru for not having the proper paperwork. With the assistance of U.S. embassy personnel, Berenson successfully boarded a Continental Airlines flight yesterday in the Peruvian capital of Lima.

Lori Berenson has said that she has every intention of obeying an official order to return to Peru by January 11th.

Have a holiday reunion story of your own? Share it in our comments section below…

Comments (2)
  1. An Upset NYer says:

    “American activist? How dare do you describe her as an “American activist? As a Peruvian-American that lived in Peru during that era, I am deeply hurt by your suggestion that her actions were simply “aiding a rebel group”. She is a convicted terrorist. Even the American embassy acknowledged her actions and let her be incarcerated for the last 15 years. To read that she is simply described as an “activist” is like saying that Osama Bin Laden was simply an “activist”. Please read more about the history of the terrorist group Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA). The group participated in multiple terrorist acts during a period of full democracy and as a result many people were killed and lived in fear (myself included).. The fact that they were less sanguinary than Shining Path does not make them less guilty. These people were not activists, these were terrorists.

    1. gotacomment says:

      Upset, I’m with you all the way. The Peruvian government should never have let her go. At that, she’s lucky she’s not serving a life term in that prison in the Andes. After she finishes her term in 2015 she can go where she likes; the Peruvian government will then probably be glad to see the last of her. Until then, however, she’s serving a sentence and shouldn’t be given the kind of privileges that sound as if she’s in boarding school and home for Christmas vacation.

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