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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DID YOU KNOW?  CRLN has monthly E-Digests! Get informed about our events, solidarity work, immigration and Latin American news and much more!             

Want to sign up? Email shunter-smith@CRLN.org with "E-digest subscription" in the title or sign up here.

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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. 

We are not deterred: TPP is the next fight

(Photo credit: AP) After two long years of our uphill battle against Fast Track and the TPP, we've finally gotten to the 2016 election season (which, yes, starts mid-2015). After the latest round of TPP negotiations failed in Hawaii a couple weeks ago, fair-trade activists everywhere are beginning to suspect that the TPP is no longer a tenable issue for members of Congress to touch, given that their parties are trying to win the White House in 2016 and the TPP remains wildly unpopular. In the coming weeks, we'll be listening closely for news of new TPP negotiating rounds and the possibility that the text could be finalized before it becomes more of an election issue than it already is. The Hawaii rounds showed us the immense discord between negotiating countries, with Canada already in elections & pushing its dairy restrictions, Japan protecting its rice crops, Mexico wanting more access to the auto industry, and the U.S. demanding strict protections for pharmaceutical corporations (among other corporate interests).....

Celebrating the Unaccompanied Children's Interfaith Ministry

In partnership with Heartland Alliance, the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI), and Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, the CRLN is proud to coordinate the Unaccompanied Children’s Interfaith Ministry.

For almost two years the UCIM has put faith to action, providing pastoral care in children's centers and, in doing so, touching the lives of hundreds of unaccompanied chilren arriving at our border in search of safety and refuge. Celebrate the work accomplished and commit to continue fighting for refugee migrant children. Join volunteers, faith leaders, and staff for an evening of celebration, testimony, ministry, and advocacy!


Save the date! 2015 Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon, Saturday, September 26, 1:00-4:30!

Come join CRLN, Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities, Chicago-Guatemala Partnership, Concern America, and La Voz de Los de Abajo and ride in the 28th Annual Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon! All money raised will go to support education, health and community organizing projects run by rural communities without many financial resources in El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia and Honduras. While they lack funds, our Latin American partners are skilled and capable at knowing their own needs, setting their own goals and priorities, and organizing themselves to accomplish what they set out to do. All organizations participating in this event have long-term, ongoing relationships with these Latin American communities.

Llan Carlos Davila of CODIDENA to speak October 13-16!

Question: What do Durango, Colorado, and Santa Rosa de Lima, Guatemala, have in common?

Answer: They are both threatened by the water pollution, toxic waste, and other environmental damages that can be caused by metallic mines located near their communities.

Question: What can communities in the U.S. learn from Guatemalan communities about how to organize against mining operations that threaten them?

Answer: Come hear Llan Carlos Davila speak when he is in Chicago and find out!

CRLN is pleased to work with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) to set up speaking engagements in the Chicago area for NISGUA's 2015 Fall Speaking Tour , which will feature the work of the Diocesan Committee in Defense of Nature . Llan Carlos Davila, the speaker, will be accompanied by NISGUA's Guatemala Programs Coordinator, Ellen Moore, who will translate for him. You can find a list of events open to the public here .

Ending Mass Incarceration: The Ongoing Call to Faith Communities

By Janis Rosheuvel from the United Methodist Women and CRLN leaders Pastor Lilian Amaya and Lissette Castillo, published on CommonDreams: The crisis of incarceration this nation now faces demands people of faith act with swift and fierce moral authority to transform, not just reform, an irreparably broken system. It demands that all of us—clergy, seminarians, teachers, and people in pews, mosques and temples— provoke a revolution of values that strikes at the heart of mass incarceration. Without exception, we believers are required to realize a just world. This is our call, and...

CRLN is Hiring!

Know someone with great administrative, facilitation, and database managment skills who has a passion for CRLN's work? Help us find the right person to join our dedicated staff!

We are seeking a temporary Administrative Assistant to support our growing staff. The position will begin August 17, 2015 and end February 12, 2016, with the possibility for extension. This is a full-time 40 hr/week position that includes some evening and weekend hours for staffing Board meetings and committee meetings, and the running the registration table at CRLN events. Staff members receive comp time for working these hours.

Click below to see the full job description!

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.


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