Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).

Mission: The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)  builds partnerships among social movements and organized communities within and between the U.S. and Latin America. We work together through popular education, grassroots organizing, public policy advocacy, and direct action to dismantle U.S. militarism, neoliberal economic and immigration policy, and other forms of state and institutional violence.We are united by our liberating faiths and inspired by the power of people to organize and to find allies to work for sustainable economies, just relationships and human dignity.  

Misión en español: La Red de Líderes Religiosos de Chicago para Latinoamérica (CRLN) construye alianzas entre movimientos sociales y comunidades organizadas en EE.UU. y entre los pueblos de las Américas. Trabajamos juntos por medio de la educación popular, la organización de base comunitaria, la promoción de políticas públicas, y la demostración no violenta pero energética para desmilitarizar nuestras sociedades, crear alternativas a la economía neoliberal y desmantelar la política de inmigración de EE.UU, y otras formas de violencia institucional y de Estado. Estamos unidxs por nuestras fes liberadoras e inspiradxs por el poder de la gente para organizar y encontrar aliadxs para trabajar por economías sostenibles, relaciones justas y la dignidad humana.

 
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CRLN gratefully acknowldges the support of the following Foundations: Crossroads Fund, Helen Brach Foundation, Landau Family Foundation, Pierce Family Charitable Foundation and Woods Fund of Chicago. 

Continue Supporting Jose Juan, Father of 5,in sanctuary at University Church

Jose Juan Federico Moreno , a father of 5 United States citizen children, is currently in sanctuary from deportation in University Church, a member and Immigrant Welcoming Congregation of CRLN , on Chicago’s South Side.

Jose Juan had been given until Friday April 15, 2016 to leave the country and ‘self-deport.’ When in front of a judge, he received a ruling from the court determining that his removal would constitute hardship on his children. However, ultimately, the court denied his appeal, because he could not provide a ten-year old pay stub or other proof of residence that dated back more than nine years.

Read more here to learn what you can do to support Jose Juan and his family.

Afro-Colombians Demand Territorial Respect & an Ethnic Commission at the Peace Negotiations

( Español aquí ) Last week, CRLN was in Washington DC talking to Illinois members of Congress asking them to support an Ethnic Commission at Colombia's Peace Negotiations in Havana, Cuba. Now, 2,000 Afro-Colombians are blocking the Panamerican highway in Cauca demanding that their territories be respected according to Colombia's Law 70 & that their communities along with Indigenous peoples get a place at the table to put an end to a war that's affected them most of all: Protesters are asking for dialogues with the Colombian state to allow for an Ethnic Commission representing Afro-Colombians & Indigenous Peoples. Instead, they're being attacked with teargas & rubber bullets. What can I do?

  • Call your member of Congress to ask that they: "contact the State department and urge an immediate end to aggressions against peaceful Afro-Colombian protesters in Cuaca. Instead, the Colombian state should dialogue with these communities because dialogue, not violence brings peace. Ultimately, please express support for Afro and Indigenous voices in the Colombian Peace Process through an Ethnic Commission."
  • Tweet to President Santos: ". @JuanManSantos, @carmeninesVicen We are deeply concerned re: report that afrocolombian children are affected by esmad actions in Cauca "
  • Donate to support the organized Afro-Colombian communities' efforts to demand territorial respect and a place at the negotiating table.
  • CRLN is hiring an Executive Director – spread the word

    (Español Aquí) The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America seeks a dynamic leader with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, and the ability to put those gifts into action to build a better world. Building on CRLN’s twenty-five years of human rights work, our Executive Director will lead us to the next level of analysis, partnership, and vision as we strengthen our work to promote sustainable economies, just relationships, and human dignity in our hemisphere.

    Join us for the 8th Annual El Pueblo Canta

    ( Español Aquí) Please join CRLN, Wellington Avenue Church and Centro Romero for the 8 th Annual El Pueblo Canta Concert. All proceeds of the concert go towards the immigration justice programs of the two organizations and Wellington Church. Please read here of the great work that each one does for immigrants and refugees.

    Wellington Ave Church, 615 West Wellington Ave, Chicago

    5:30pm- Doors open with Latin American Food for sale

    7:00pm-- Concert Tickets: $25 general admission, $15 students/limited income children under 12 free

    *Childcare and free parking available with RSVP.

    Tickets HERE!

    Berta Cáceres’ family calls for Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to coordinate investigation

    ( Español Aquí ) More than a month after the murder of Honduran indigenous Lenca activist Berta Cáceres, the Honduran investigation into the crime has gone nowhere. CRLN believes that both the Honduran government and the U.S. State Department are blocking attempts by Berta’s family and human rights groups to transfer the investigation to an international team with no conflicts of interest in the case who could ensure justice.

    Send your Signature to DC with CRLN! / Envíe su Firma a Washington DC con CRLN!

    (Español abajo) CRLN will be in DC from April 15-20, visiting the Illinois delegation of Congress, delivering letters ( that you can sign! ) that include the following demands:

  • An end to the embargo against Cuba,

  • A full & independent investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres and a suspension of all military and police aid to Honduras,

  • Inclusion of Afro and Indigenous voices in the Colombian Peace talks and a dismantling of paramilitaries still active in that country.

  • Even if you can't be with us in DC, you can still be part of this work by clicking here to add your signature to our letters and letting your member of Congress know you care! The exact text of each letter will shift according to the Member of Congress' past support or lack of support on these issues. But our asks will remain the same! Join our letters by clicking here !

    The TPP & Shared Struggle: Mobilize in Chicago on April 1st & 14th!

    ( Español aquí ) By: Celeste Larkin, CRLN Public Policy Coordinator

    ( Scroll down for action info! ) For over three years, CRLN has organized, lobbied, and mobilized to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This work is consistent with our decades-long tradition of being in solidarity with communities resisting harmful free trade frameworks. We’ve seen the project of neoliberal development ravage communities throughout Latin America, destroy the livelihoods of campesinos and rural communities, strip workers’ right to organize, and force the migration of millions of people who are seeking basic survival into the US. All this has occurred in favor of a market-based logic that ultimately serves only to bolster profits for global capital. This is why we at CRLN have supported struggles for living wages, the right to not migrate, the defense of oppressed and targeted immigrants in Illinois, and development projects truly oriented toward base communities throughout Latin America.

    The battle against the TPP has been a long one that brings to life many of the latter issues. CRLN in coalition with several local, national and international organizations has successfully helped delay the TPP’s passage by pushing the issue into the 2016 election season. Yet while we wait for the post-November ‘lame duck’ session in which the TPP will likely be a live issue in Congress once again, we still have work to do.

    Faith in Action Reflections

    Last month, Organized Communities Against Deportations organized a direct action outside of the Chicago ICE office located on 101 W. Congress. The action was supported by groups like Assata’s Daughters, BYP 100, and Not One More. It contained several messages, including “Stop All Raids” and “Dismantle ICE/Defund Police.”

    Individual members of the CRLN participated in the action. We asked two of them to explain why they chose to do so. Here are the reflections they prepared for us for this today, Holy Thursday and the 36th Anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's Assassination.

    Faith communities call for an end to the embargo as Cubans welcome the Obama family

    (Español Aqui) Cubans welcomed President Obama and his family on Sunday March 20 for the first visit by a sitting president in 88 years. The historic visit began with a tour of Old Havana including a meeting with Cardinal Jaime Ortega . In a statement issued before the visit , the Cuban Council of Churches said, “We appreciate that this visit is taking place based on positions of mutual respect and on recognition of the sovereignty of the people and the cultures, and on the specificities of each nation. We understand that it is an important step forward in the dialogue and search for normalization of relations, which can positively impact both nations and Latin America…. We welcome the statements by President Obama urging the U.S. Congress to lift the embargo.”

    "Her spirit lives in all the rivers of Honduras and the world"

    ( Español aquí)

    After the 2009 coup in Honduras, songs emerged from the popular resistance movement. Everyone was singing one in particular, whose refrain went “They fear us, because we are not afraid.” After the internationally acclaimed Honduran Indigenous and environmental activist Berta Cáceres was murdered on March 3, Dan Beeton of the Center for Economic Policy Research wrote , “Berta was a threat to powerful forces in Honduras, and so they threatened her.”

    The Honduran authorities also see COPINH, the Indigenous rights organization Berta founded, as a threat. They appear to be doing everything possible to destroy it. They have tried their best to pin the crime of Berta’s murder on COPINH members, implying that there must have been an internal struggle for power within the organization. Gustavo Castro, the Mexican environmentalist who is the sole witness to the attack and who was also shot, says that the authorities never questioned him about people associated with DESA, the company whose Agua Zarca dam project Berta resisted and from whom she believed she was getting death threats, or about Honduran police, who have harassed her in the past. Instead, they have questioned him about COPINH members. 8 of COPINH’s 9 coordinators in the town where Berta was murdered have been interrogated for up to 12 hours at a time, one was jailed for 48 hours and then released without charges, COPINH’s radio station and women’s shelter have been under surveillance, and Berta’s daughter has been followed by both plainclothes and armed men.

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