Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).  The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) stands in solidarity with those oppressed by poverty, violence and exclusion in this hemisphere working together for the respect of human dignity and empowerment of all peoples.  An interfaith network of individuals and communities, CRLN equips and mobilizes religious leaders, communities and individuals to advance peace, justice and human rights in our hemisphere.

 
 
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Fast Track Cloture Passes Senate: What's Next for TPP Fight

Today’s Fast Track vote in the Senate was a tough loss. After first stopping Camp-Baucus last Congress, and then defeating the original Ryan-Hatch bill in the House a week-and-a-half ago, Fast Track proponents were able pull enough procedural maneuvers and make enough promises that Fast Track received cloture by a single vote, 60 - 37. This means the Fast Track bill cannot be filibustered in the Senate and will likely pass into law in the coming days. Still, our movement has a lot to be proud of. We went up against a united front of Wall Street, K Street, the White House, and Republican leadership and still came just a few votes from victory.

Stay tuned on upcoming efforts to defeat the TPP in real-time by ‘liking’ CRLN’s facebook page to follow our updates.

We stood for the rights of sovereign nations like El Salvador to choose clean water over corporate profits. We stood for the rights of communities throughout Latin America to NOT migrate. We stood for the rights of workers worldwide to not have to compete with each other for less exploitation so that the richest in this world can further enrich themselves.

And we almost won this round. Our tireless efforts have set the groundwork for the next fights to come.

Celebration and reflection mark “Adelante CRLN! A Tribute to Gary Cozette”

On June 13, 2015, over 150 CRLN board, staff, members and friends celebrated Gary Cozette’s 30 years of work for peace, social justice, and human rights in Latin America. As a U.S. citizen, he has done this through challenging U.S. military aid and training of Latin American army and police forces deployed against citizens of their own countries working for social change, bringing publicity to the harmful effects of U.S. intervention in Latin American political processes, and educating people here about international human rights laws that often get ignored in the face of corporate profit-seeking. You can see photos from the event here .

U.S. Underwriting Corruption, Scandal: Social Movements Resist in Central America

On April 25 th of this year, public and private university students came together by the thousands, joined by people of all generations, to demand that President Otto Molina Pérez clean up the ever-unfolding corruption in his government. Scandals in Guatemala’s customs and tax agencies have already cost Vice President Roxana Baldetti her job.

Since April, the protests have grown into what many are calling a social movement. Social media has provided a crucial organizing platform where the government cannot control the messaging, unlike in many of the major Central American news outlets which are allied with governments there and have been largely ignoring the protests.

Here are several news articles that provide further background to the protests and the context of social unrest in Guatemala and Honduras:

Join the Chicago Welcome for Friendshipment Caravan Challenging the U.S. Blockade of Cuba

Welcome the US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan to Chicago Friday June 26th at University Church at 5655 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60637.

5pm – 6pm Reception (with snacks), 6pm – 7:30 pm Program with Q&A.

While we have seen important steps to reestablish diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, many of the U.S. travel restrictions and the economic blockade of Cuba remain in place. Learn why Pastors for Peace has vowed to continue their civil disobedience caravans until these restrictions are ended. Professor Linda Eastwood will share how faith communities in the US and Cuba are working for policies that benefit the people of Cuba and the U.S. A donation will be collected to support the Friendshipment. Chicago is one of the more than 100 cities holding events to welcome this year’s Caravan. For more information on the Caravan see http://ifconews.org

For more than twenty years, Pastors for Peace has organized Friendshipment Caravans of people from around the U.S. (and the world) to travel to Cuba — without a license — and bring material aid to the Cuban people in an act of civil disobedience against the immoral U.S. blockade. The US blockade of Cuba causes shortages of food, medicine and other important supplies for eleven million people. It is a policy that uses hunger and disease as political weapons.

A TVPRA Campaign Update

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for signing our petition to Senator Mark Kirk, asking him to protect migrant children refugees fleeing violence and poverty. We’re happy to report that on May 28 we had a productive meeting with Sen. Mark Kirk’s office on the importance of protecting children and maintaining the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).

A little more than a week since launching...

June 13th! Tribute to Gary Cozette and Adelante CRLN!

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015 Time: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Location: Cristo Rey High School Cafeteria, 1852 W. 22nd Pl., Chicago, IL 60608 Admission: To purchase tickets, click on the following link: https://eventbrite.com/event/16820835572/

CRLN's founder and long-time program director Gary Cozette - while he will always remain committed to social...

Rep. Mike Quigley: Needs to hear #NoFastTrack from YOU!

Last week, CRLN, the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition, Communication Workers of America, The People’s Lobby, IIRON, Food and Water Watch, Steelworkers, and dozens of allies went to Congressman Mike Quigley’s office to give him one last chance to repent from his immoral stance on trade and to listen to the overwhelming opinion of 5th district constituents urging him to vote ‘No’ on Fast Track legislation and to meet with the groups outside his office. ( Check out our Facebook feed for pictures! ) We even delivered a letter (attached) from 17 pastors from the 5th district urging him to keep his faith and oppose Fast Track. HE DIDN'T LISTEN.

Fast Track legislation would allow corporate lobbyists nearly complete oversight of the text of the TPP & other trade agreements, with little to no input from democratically elected members of Congress. The bill could be voted on as early as Tuesday, June 9th! Rep. Mike Quigley is the last target in Illinois still supporting Fast Track for the TPP & other free trade disasters. Call to voice your opposition!

202-225-4062: "I’m calling to urge Rep. Quigley to vote ‘No’ to Fast Tracking corporate trade agreements through Congress. Fast Track would take away Congress’ power to ensure that our trade agreements have ENFORCEABLE mechanisms to protect workers, human rights, and the environment worldwide. Can Rep. Quigley talk with the civil society groups that were outside his office on Thursday, May 28th before voting on Fast Track?"

Afro-Colombians in Chicago! / ¡Afro-Colombianxs en Chicago!

(Español abajo)

On Friday, May 22, four Afro-Colombian leaders flew into Chicago and for a weekend full of powerful conversation, exchange and calls for solidarity. The speakers came to share their stories and struggles of exclusion from Colombia’s ongoing peace process, forced displacement, and the disproportionate violence against African descendant communities whose ancestral territories are sought after for natural resource exploitation.

Chicago hosted the following Afro-Colombian leaders:

Richard Moreno —from the inter-ethnic Solidarity...

Take Action to End U.S. Restrictions on Travel & Trade with Cuba!

On April 21 st a CRLN delegation met with Senator Kirk to ask him to sign on to two bills to end restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba. Today we need your help to contact Senator Kirk to urge him to sign on to these bills.

S299 - Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act will end the U.S. ban on travel permanently. This is important because the recent easing of some travel restrictions could be changed by the next...

Protect Migrant Refugee Children, Protect the TVPRA!

Since 2013, the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) has been one of the organizations supporting the Unaccompanied Children’s Interfaith Ministry of Chicago. Through this work, we have witnessed the children’s stories, prayers, and dreams. Our Immigrant Welcoming Congregations and our individual members have been touched by the stories of unaccompanied children. Today, we’re excited to announce our...

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