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. 

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.

    Vigil to Protest Assassination of Berta Cáceres / Vigilia para Protestar el Asesinato de Berta Cáceres

    Berta Compilation.jpg

     

     

    Monday, March 7th / Lunes, 3 de marzo

    10AM-11AM

    Honduran Consulate / Consulado Hondureño 

    4439 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60639

     

    Join CRLN, our friends at La Voz de Los de Abajo, and the whole movement to call for justice: At 1 am on March 3rd, Berta Cáceres, the indigenous Lenca leader and co-founder of COPINH, resistance leader and defender of rivers and land was assassinated in Honduras. We hold responsible the Honduran government, the international mining and hydroelectric companies and the US government which funds, supports and often directs them. Join us in a vigil protest of her murder and a reaffirmation of our solidarity in walking with the Honduran people for life against the destroyers.

    Únete con CRLN, nuestrxs amigxs en La Voz de Los de Abajo, y todo el movimiento para exigir justicia: A la 1 de la madrugada el 3 de marzo, Berta Cáceres, lidereza Indígena Lenca y co-fundadora de COPINH, lidereza de la resistencia y defensora de los ríos y la tierra fue asesinado en Honduras. Responsabilizamos el gobierno Hondureño, las companías de minería e hidroelectricidad y el goberino EEUU que les financia, que les apoya y que muchas veces les diriga. Únete con nosotrxs para una vigilia para protestar el asesinato de Berta y reafirmar nuestra solidaridad para caminar con el pueblo Hondureño para la vida y no la destrucción.

    COPINH, HSN, CRLN, & Thousands others condemn the Assassination of Berta Cáceres

    ( Español aquí )

    Berta.jpg Click here to demand justice for the assassination of Berta Cáceres!

    From Karen Spring, Honduras Solidarity Network Coordinator (see more statements and news stories below):

    "March 3, 2016

    This evening at approximately midnight, the General Coordinator of COPINH, Berta Caceres was assassinated in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, shot and killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation.

    Berta Caceres is one of the leading Indigenous activists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of Indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources. In 2015, Berta won the Goldman Prize for her outstanding activism and leadership. Her death will have a profound impact on the many Lenca communities that she worked with, COPINH, the Honduran social movement, and all that knew her.

    Berta Caceres and COPINH have been accompanying various land struggles throughout western Honduras. In the last few weeks, violence and repression towards Berta, COPINH, and the communities they support, had escalated. In Rio Blanco on February 20th, Berta, COPINH, and the community of Rio Blanco faced threats and repression as they carried out a peaceful action to protect the River Gualcarque against the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA. As a result of COPINH’s work supporting the Rio Blanco struggle, Berta had received countless threats against her life and was granted precautionary measures by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights. On February 25th, another Lenca community supported by COPINH in Guise, Intibuca was violently evicted and destroyed."

    CRLN, the Honduras Solidarity Network, and our partners in Honduras are all urgently demanding a thorough and immediate investigation of the circumstances surrounding Berta’s death.

    Days of Action in DC this April!

    IMG_0872.JPG ( Español aquí ) This April, CRLN is excited to announce three different opportunities for our members to change U.S. foreign, trade and immigration policy. During this election year and with so many opportunities to push for change, we want to work with CRLN members more closely to build strategic opportunities for education and action on a whole host of issues affecting human rights throughout the hemisphere. Please contact us about any of the following opportunities to get engaged in the public policy struggles of 2016. We’re ready to work with you to make your participation as strategic as possible!

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