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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No Fast Track! Carolers deliver hundreds of signatures to Rep. Quigley

CRLN joined roughly twenty members of the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition (IFTC) and constituents of Illinois' 5th Congressional district at Congressman Mike Quigley's office to deliver a holiday package and sing altered holiday carols expressing frustration that the Congressman has failed to come out against Fast Track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP). Rep. Quigley was unable to receive the crowd but the group was met with several of the Congressman's staffers who, on the Congressman's behalf, accepted the holiday package filled with over 1,500 messages and signatures from voters urging that that he come out against Fast Track legislation, which many expect will come up for a vote in January.

Check out CRLN's Facebook page for pictures and video of the action!

Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells, the crowd filled up the Congressman's district office lobby, belting, "The TPP will let / Any corporation sue / Any government / For putting people first (no no no no!) / You can't let this pass / We want sovereignty / Oh please Mike Quigley just say no / don't Fast Track TPP!" "What does the Congressman say about Investor State Dispute Settlements which have allowed corporations to sue sovereign nations for protecting environmental and public health at the expense of corporate profits?" asked IFTC member Lyle Hyde of Quigley's staff. The staff wasn't able to answer the question due to its specificity. 

Interested in getting involved in this organizing work? Contact Celeste at clarkin@crln.org!

CRLN Response to President Obama's Executive Action Announcement

Last night, President Obama announced an executive action that will provide an estimated 4.4 million immigrants temporary relief from deportation.

Join us! CRLN's 2014 Annual Luncheon with Karla Lara

Join CRLN & Honduran artist, feminist & journalist, Karla Lara for our 2014 Annual Luncheon, 

Un Pueblo Que No Calla: 

Voices from the Resistance Movement in Honduras

November 6th, 2014, 12:00PM-2:00PM

Old St. Pat's Church, 700 W Adams


ARTISTS: If you want to join the event but tickets are prohibitive, contact Sharon at SHunter-Smith@crln.org.


Karla Lara's tour will celebrate the resistance movement in Honduras since the 2009 U.S.-backed coup & create spiritual space that inspires social movement through art & song. Grounded in a feminist perspective, Karla will lift up la lucha - the struggle - against militarization, political violence & attacks against social movements. Gather with us to celebrate el pueblo que no calla, the people who will not be silenced!


Ending the Trade Embargo Against Cuba

The 50-year-old, unilateral, U.S. Trade Embargo against Cuba - known in Cuba as the Blockade - has long been denounced by the United Nations, the World Council of Churches, the Vatican, the Catholic Bishops of Cuba, and the Cuban Council of Churches. CRLN has joined in their call to end the embargo for over 2 decades. 

Pedal for Peace raises $16,376 for solidarity projects!

53 bikers, some accompanied by children, turned out on September 28 to ride in the 2014 Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon.  The day was sunny and warm, with beautiful vistas of the city and Lake Michigan along the Chicago Lakefront Bikepath.  Collectively, the group raised a total of $16, 376 to be divided among 5 Chicago area organizations and CRLN to support health, education and community organizing projects in Latin America and Chicago:

Chicago Fair Trade GlobalFest: Latin America

Chicago Fair Trade's annual benefit, GlobalFest: Latin America, will be held on Friday, November 14 at 5:30 pm at the National Mexican Museum of Art.

Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Chicago: How You Can Help

Chicago Religious Leadership Network has taken a leading role in developing the Unaccompanied Children's Interfaith Ministry in Chicago.  With your help, we can provide protection and a measure of peace in their young lives.  Here's what you can do:

Protect the Laws that Protect Children

1. Call your Congressional Representatives and ask for their support to maintain protections under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).  This crucial law, signed by President Bush, provides protections for the most vulnerable among us. 

SOA Vigil Update

You may have already heard about the most recent efforts by the Columbus Police Department to limit this year’s Vigil. CRLN joined the efforts of the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) and other organizations to write to Police Chief Ricky Boren with a clear message: we will not stand for this repression of our constitutional right to free speech! The Columbus Police Department received a large number of letters from organizations and longtime participants, and have agreed to proceed in negotiations with SOAW so that the Vigil will still go on. It is one of the largest convergences of peaceful protest in the US. This is not the first time the Columbus Police Department has tried to stop participants from exercising their rights guaranteed by the Constitution, but SOAW, with the help of its legal team, has always prevailed. CRLN encourages our members to attend the Vigil this November 21-23!

National Day of Action to Protect Children & Families

National Day of Action to Protect our Children, Protect our Families! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 AM 

For Location and RSVP information, please contact Lissette Castillo (lcastillo@crln.org or 773-293-3680). 


Photo: bet.comPhoto: bet.comLooking around us, it's undeniable that this country is undergoing a moral test.


As you know, under the Obama administration nearly two million people have been deported and thousands upon thousands of families torn apart.


Before leaving for August recess, on its end the House approved a bill which cuts back due process and essential protections for children and refugees as legally established under the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). As if this were not enough, the House also voted to end the hard-fought for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which provides protection to undocumented youth or "DREAMers" from deportation.

USAID in Cuba: The Latest U.S. Program to Create Political Dissent

LAWG blog post by Taylor Clark, LAWG Intern on August 09, 2014

The Associated Press published a report earlier this week uncovering a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program, now known as the “Travelers Project,” that recruited youths from Peru, Venezuela, and Costa Rica from 2009 through 2012 to run and participate in civic programs in Cuba while secretly stirring up anti-government activism. The most notable of the projects organized by the USAID contractors was an HIV/AIDS prevention clinic that was dually used to scout possible anti-Castro youth organizers. According to USAID documents, the HIV program was described as a “perfect excuse” to recruit political activists. Under the “Travelers Project,” the USAID directed agents to act as tourists, socialize on college campuses, and hold various gatherings in order to profile and organize potential dissident youth leaders.

USAID contractor Creative Associates International was used to organize and execute the project. This group also served as an integral part of the controversial ZunZuneo or “Cuban Twitter” program, which sent political propaganda to cell phone users in Cuba under the guise of providing access to a social media system. In the Travelers Project, “travelers” from various Latin American nations were given brief training on how to avoid Cuban authorities and were taught how to use certain coded messages to communicate with each other. Some of these agents were compensated as little as $5.41 per hour. Creative Associates instructed the youths on how to behave if they were caught and questioned by Cuban authorities, directing them to immediately call their embassy and never mention the Creative Associates group.


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