Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending June 16, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or RealPlayer G2).

How Peruvian President Albert Fujimori's tainted re-election may affect Lori Berenson's case
Interview by Denise Manzari.

Although the constitution of Peru states that a president may serve only two terms, Alberto Fujimori managed, through what critics charge were tactics of intimidation, to garner a third term in elections held May 28.

Peruvian law states that every citizen must vote, or risk a fine of one-third of a month's salary. Nevertheless, almost 10 percent of the population refused to participate.

Human rights groups charge Fujimori with condoning blatant human rights violations, including the unjust imprisonment of U.S. citizen Lori Berenson, a freelance journalist who had been living in Peru. Berenson was convicted before a hooded judge in a military court in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison for treason, after Fujimori's government accused her of being a leader of the MRTA, or Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Group.

Berenson family members maintain that Lori is innocent, and take turns visiting her every two weeks in Peru. Lori's parents, Mark and Rhoda Berenson, spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about how they feel the re-election of Alberto Fujimori may affect their daughter's case.

For more information on Lori Berenson's case, you can visit her supporters' Web site at

Campaign to free Leonard Peltier focuses on executive clemency
Interview by Melinda Tuhus.

Leonard Peltier, an activist with the American Indian Movement, was convicted of killing two FBI agents in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. His trial was marked by many irregularities, including accusations that prosecutors withheld crucial evidence in Peltier's favor, and the admission by one witness that her testimony, used to convict him, was fabricated.

Over the years, Peltier's case has gained wide notoriety around the world. Many human rights groups, and even some heads of state, have called for his immediate release, believing that Leonard Peltier is a political prisoner framed by a corrupt justice system.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Gina Kiala, with the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, who provides an update on the continuing legal battle to free the American Indian activist who has been imprisoned for 24 years.

Contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee by calling (785) 842-5774 or visit their Web site at

FCC may weaken rules preventing further concentration of media ownership
Interview by Scott Harris.

In a Congressionally ordered review of the laws governing the telecommunications industry, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed weakening several long-standing regulations. The rules, which the FCC says they may change, include one which now prevents a media company from owning a broadcast station and newspaper in the same city, and another that prohibits a company from owning more than one national television network.

With an unprecedented wave of megamedia mergers, changing these rule is a top priority for corporations such as the Tribune Company and Viacom, which have recently acquired Times Mirror and CBS. If current regulations stay in place, these media giants may be forced to sell off their valuable new properties.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Mark Lloyd, national coordinator of People for Better Television, who examines these FCC proposals and the impact further concentration of ownership may have on citizens already facing a loss of diversity in available media outlets.

Contact People for Better Televison by calling 1-888-374-PBTV or visit their Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Bob Nixon and Denise Manzari

  • Zimbabwe gears up for national elections June 24-25, as President Robert Mugabe battles opponents over land issues. (The Economist: June 3, 2000)
  • Review of progress addressed at the recent "Women 2000 Gender Equality, Development and Peace" conference.

  • American Farm Bureau's long-standing ties with big food companies. (Extra: March/April 2000)
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