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Lori Berenson gets to go home for the holidays, her mother and attorney say

It would be Berenson's first departure from Peru in 16 years

"If things can go wrong for Lori, they often do," her mother says

CNN  — 

A Peruvian court has given American activist Lori Berenson permission to travel to the United States for the holidays, her mother and attorney said Friday.

It would be Berenson’s first departure from Peru in 16 years. Under the travel terms set by the Lima court, Berenson, 42, would have to return to Peru in early January.

Rhoda Berenson, contacted in New York, did not know her daughter’s travel dates, but said she was excited about the prospect of seeing her daughter and her 2-1/2-year-old grandson, who will be traveling with her.

“We knew that she had applied, but we didn’t want to get excited,” the activist’s mother said. “This is Lori in Peru, which means nothing ever goes the way it’s supposed to, so we were very glad that the decision was a ‘yes.’ We were very happy and, of course, hoping all along. But, if things can go wrong for Lori, they often do.”

Lori Berenson was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 for collaborating with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement to attack the nation’s congress and overthrow the government. Her sentence was reduced to 20 years on appeal. As a parolee, she must remain in Peru until at least 2015.

She was released from Lima’s Chorrillos Penitentiary in November 2010 after a Peruvian court granted her parole.

In 2009, while in prison, Berenson gave birth to a son who was fathered by her estranged husband, Anibal Apari, a Peruvian lawyer who represents her. The boy had been living with her in prison until her release.

Apari told CNN that the court approved Berenson’s petition to travel, but he did not specify a travel date, saying that they wanted to keep their travel plans private for their own protection.

Rhoda Berenson said her daughter, in her petition to travel, had noted that her father’s 70th birthday is December 29.