FEATURING: El Wadi Ensemble

PLUS: special performances by VOICES, the Wellington Choir, and the “Dare to Dream” Centro Romero Youth Choir.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2020

TIME: Doors open at 5:30pm–Traditional Latino and Middle Eastern food for purchase

           Concert: 7:00 – 8:30pm

LOCATION: Wellington Ave. UCC, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago, IL. Located on the corner of Broadway and Wellington, a few blocks south of Belmont Ave. Close                         to the Halsted, Broadway and Clark St. buses, as well as the Red or Brown Line CTA trains 

TICKETS: $25 general admission, $15 students/limited income, children under 12 free (childcare available, RSVP at 773-935-0642) 

Advance tickets and sponsorship at waucc.org/2020ElPuebloCanta

Call 773-935-0642 for more details

PARKING: Complimentary parking passes generously provided by Advocate IL Masonic Hospital at garage at Halsted and Wellington.

All proceeds will go to support the immigrant justice work of Centro Romero, CRLN, and Wellington Ave. UCC

BUILDING COMMUNITY WHERE ALL ARE WELCOME!

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CRLN and its predecessor organization, the Chicago Metropolitan Sanctuary Alliance, had its beginnings in the fight against U.S. funding for the adbuctions, disappearances and torture of non-combatant citizens in El Salvador and Guatemala. How can we remain silent when Chicago police have tortured our own citizens into confessing to crimes that they did not commit? While some have been released from prison, we must demand that all those who were tortured be released and pardoned.

We urge you to show up and be present at this public forum, organized by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and co-sponsored by CRLN.

DATE: MAY 16, 2020

TIME: 1:00PM

LOCATION: CTU HALL, 1901 WEST CARROLL AVE., CHICAGO  60612

 

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Webinar, “Ancestral Movements: Indigenous Territory and Migration”

with Maya Kaqchikel presenter Silvia Raquec Cum, Migration Program Coordinator, Association Pop No’j

April 16, 2020, 6:00pm CST 

While state forces threaten their safety and dignity, Indigenous peoples and migrants resist with courage and resilience. Join us for this webinar to learn about resource extraction, migration, and the work of Indigenous people in Guatemala to build a world beyond colonial borders. Register here for English translation webinar.  Register here for Spanish language webinar.

 

This educational session will prepare you to participate in a wide coalition campaign, of which CRLN is a part, to end the Asylum Cooperation Agreements (ACAs) between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The ACAs allow the U.S. to deport asylum seekers and require them to seek asylum in these three countries. None of these countries has a well-functioning process for applying for asylum nor the capacity to shelter and feed people deported while they wait. No Congress has approved these agreements.

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 40th ANNIVERSARY GOOD FRIDAY WALK FOR JUSTICE

 April 10, 2020, 12:00 NOON

HOPE RISES IN COURAGEOUS COMMUNITY

 

“When it is all too much, when the news is so bad that meditation itself feels useless, and a single life feels like too small a stone to offer on the altar of peace, find a human sunrise. Find those people who are committed to changing our scary reality. Human sunrises are happening all over the earth, at every moment. People gathering, people working to change the intolerable, people coming in their robes and sandals or in their rags and bare feet, and they are singing, or not, and they are chanting, or not. But they are working to bring peace, light, compassion to the infinitely frightening downhill slide of human life.”  (Alice Walker, Naropa University, 2007)

 

In these challenging times, when all around us we see injustice, violence, lies, and despair, it is important to remember and claim that “another world is possible!” And not only is it possible, but it is being created and nurtured by all of those working together to build a world of justice, compassion, truth, and hope!

 

CRLN has created the responsive reading for the 4th station, “Helped in the Struggle.” 

 

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the “walk” part of Good Friday Walk for Justice is cancelled.

 

HOWEVER, even though we cannot gather right now, WE CAN STILL PRAY and take courageous action for justice in our communities!  We will honor this 40th Anniversary Good Friday Walk for Justice by publishing our Prayer Booklet online.  We encourage you to pray this modern-day Way-of-the-Cross on Good Friday in the safety of your homes with members of your households.  The booklet will be available at walkforjusticechicago.com by Monday, April 6. The Planning Committee and Station Coordinators will record an audio/visual performance of the responsive readings and have it available for download at the website or link to it from the website as well. In that way, you can feel more connected to those leading the prayers and others participating in the event.

 

During this extended period of social distancing, the need for “Hope Rising in Courageous Community” is more important than ever.  Please share this resource widely, and take heart in the words of author and poet, Alice Walker, who reminds us that “Human sunrises are happening all over the earth,” and that the work to “bring peace, light, compassion” to this world shines on.

 

And PLEASE send your email address to planning committee convener Nancy Jones at nancyjones193@gmail.com so we can keep you in the loop about next year’s Good Friday Walk for Justice.

 

 

To support this year’s Walkmake checks payable to CRLN (memo: GFWalk) and mail to CRLN, 5655 S. University Ave., #23, Chicago, IL 60637, or pay online at bit.ly/wfj20.

 

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Need something good to do while you are sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Watch a series of five, one-hour webinars this Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, facilitated by CRLN’s ally orgranization, SOAWatch. Presenters include veterans in the movement for peace and social justice in Latin America like Laura Carlsen, Jennifer Harbury, John Lindsey-Poland, and Dana Frank, along with newer faces involved in Abya Yala (“Las Americas”) and activists along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The series will examine the impact of US-backed state violence in the hemisphere, the root causes of forced migration and militarization, and will teach you how to use effective narratives, mutual aid, research and lobbying to nourish our collective work as we face the current humanitarian crisis.

For a description and time period for each webinar and to register separately for each webinar that interests you, go to https://www.soaw.org/webinar-series-april-4-5-2020-confronting-forced-migration-violence-in-the-americas

 

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The Impact of Economic Sanctions Against Cuba Amid COVID-19

Cuba has been under U.S. economic sanctions for over sixty years, costing the island nation billions of dollars. In the last year, the Trump Administration has dramatically increased economic sanctions against Cuba, leaving them strapped for cash. As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase daily within the country, the economic toll resulting from these sanctions has led to a shortage of medicine and medical supplies needed to combat the virus. Despite Cuba’s strong healthcare system, their lack of access to the appropriate medical supplies is hindering their ability to treat and contain COVID-19. The international community must make every effort within its power to stop the spread of the virus, protect people particularly the most vulnerable and ease the harm the virus causes. In order to do that, the United State must suspend the sanctions that are inflicting the most harm on the Cuban people.

The Impact of Economic Sanctions Against Venezuela Amid COVID-19

U.S. economic sanctions in Venezuela had led to a public health crisis prior to the rise of COVID-19. These sanctions negatively impacted Venezuela’s economy and have prohibited the importation of essential, lifesaving products, including medicine and medical equipment. Economic sanctions imposed by the United States have already caused increased disease and tens of thousands of excess deaths, according to a 2019 study. Hospitals throughout the country are suffering from a lack of masks, gloves, and other protective gear essential for the proper treatment of COVID-19 patients and for containing the virus. Additionally, many hospitals lack clean water and soap, further indicating that an outbreak of COVID-19 in Venezuela would likely spread rapidly.

The Fight Against COVID-19 Must Be Global

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently called for sectoral sanctions to be reduced or suspended. During this crisis, the world must come together to effectively fight it. Any hindering of the medical efforts in one country increases the risk for the entire globe.

Contact the administration and your members of Congress today! Urge them to make every effort to stop the COVID19 by easing the sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela and helping the most vulnerable get the medical care and equipment they need.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/PCUSA/Campaigns/73235/Respond

 

 

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Solidarity with the Honduran people in Pandemic Times:  COVID-19, Another Weapon in the Hands of the Dictatorship

The U.S. and Canada-backed regime of Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) is using the very real dangers and fears of the
coronavirus pandemic to militarize the country, justify acts of corruption, destroyand further privatize public services, repress dissent, and criminalize poverty.

 

On March 15, 2020, without previous implementation of any minimal COVID-19 prevention measures, JOH implemented a nation-wide lockdown enforced by and managed by the Honduran military and police. The regime suspended numerous
constitutional guarantees, including the right to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and freedom from arbitrary detention. The regime closed public spaces and many businesses, and, in the name of enforcing the lockdown, has carried out hundreds of arrests. Some of these arrests have been politically-motivated.

 

On March 17 in the southern city of Choluteca, the police surrounded the home of a well-known community activist, Aleyda Huete. The next day, Huete was released from jail after an international and national outcry against her arrest but still faces charges and death threats that are believed to grow out of her opposition to the JOH dictatorship. Journalists covering police evictions of the public markets are threatened to be put in government-run quarantine.

 

The Honduran government has used the crisis to justify freeing at least one individual indicted and jailed on corruption charges and also named in connection to JOH’s brother, Tony Hernandez’s drug trafficking activities. This is while the
government continues to ignore judicial motions and demands to free the eight Guapinol defenders and political prisoners that are at exceptional risk inside Honduran prisons.

 

Over the last few days, the desperation of the population in rural and urban areas has led to increased government attacks and repression. At the best of times, 60% of Hondurans live in poverty and half of that number live in extreme poverty. Approximately 70% of employment in Honduras is through the informal sector, and with the closure of street markets, small, road-side vendors, streets and parks, an emergency life and death situation is growing across the country.

 

With the extreme government-imposed measures, Hondurans are being forced to “lockdown and starve” and are unable to go to the streets in search of food, assistance, and whatever means to survive without facing arrest, harassment, and
repression. As the well-known Honduran human rights organization COFADEH explained: “A curfew can’t be obeyed when people are dying of hunger.” The already difficult economic, social, and political situation in Honduras has been
exacerbated by the pandemic, and again, Hondurans are being forced to confront the illegitimate, U.S. and Canada-backed JOH regime in the most extreme circumstances.

 

In early March, under the real threat posed by the global pandemic but when less than 3 COVID-19 cases were reported in the country at the time, the Honduran Congress used the crisis to approve over $420 million USD in alleged assistance to confront the crisis. In addition, the JOH government is requesting support from the international financial institutions that have turned a blind eye while feeding public corruption for several years. The Honduran Convergence Against Re-election fears that this money will never be audited and instead, used to line the pockets of the corrupt instead of addressing the public health crisis. As of March 29, there are 139 reported COVID-19 cases, 3 resulting deaths, and increasing economic and public health demands being made by the population.

 

Despite the availability of emergency funds, the government’s response to the crisis has been to politicize food packages, delivering small amounts of food aid only to families on the National Party’s election roster. With growing indignation and
desperation, people in several communities, municipalities, and urban neighbourhoods have taken to the streets and blocked roads, demanding that food and basic supplies be provided. These protests are met with repression, live
bullets, tear gas, and arrests. In addition, physicians, medical residents, and healthcare workers have walked off the job and continue to complain of the complete lack of basic medical protective equipment in the largest public hospitals
in the two major cities. These complaints add to the growing frustration of the intentional neglect of the public healthcare system which has been decimated by corrupt plundering and privatization efforts for several years.

 

The JOH government’s corruption is well-documented, whether it is theft of money designated for public health services that then found its way into JOH’s 2013 election funds or the bank accounts National Party officials and their family
members accused of theft of public funds, fraud, etc. Hondurans are outraged by the evidence presented in U.S. Federal Courts in New York during court proceedings against JOH’s brother Tony Hernandez, his cousin, and other narcotics traffickers that link JOH directly to drug cartels in Honduras, and the fact that, despite this evidence and the blatant corruption and violations of human rights, JOH is still supported politically and financially by the U.S. and Canadian
governments.

 

The Honduras Solidarity Network stands with the Honduran people and organizations who call for an end to the repression and corruption and demand urgent funds and resources for healthcare, food, and water for the Honduran
people. We also continue to stand with the people’s demands for an end to the U.S. and Canada-backed narco-dictatorship. Our governments must stop propping up an illegitimate and corrupt government in Honduras.

For daily updates on the situation in Honduras including possible calls to action,please visit:

Facebook: Honduras Solidarity Network
Twitter: @hondurassol

March 30, 2020

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Our friends at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) are gathering signatures on a petition to President Trump and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf to stop deportations to Mexico and Central America during the COVID-19 pandemic. While international travel is restricted during this health crisis, it is outrageous that the U.S. risks increasing spread of the coronavirus by deporting detained migrants. They already may have been exposed to the virus while in overcrowded detention centers. Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have fragile and underfunded public health systems, which are having enough difficulties treating the coronavirus patients they already have.

 

Please read and sign the petition at the link below.

https://lawg.salsalabs.org/stopdeportations/index.html

 

For more information at LAWG, click here

 

“Central America Fears Trump Could Deport the Coronavirus” (Los Angeles Times)

 

 

 

 

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En Honduras, más de 500 personas han sido detenidas arbitrariamente y sometidas a torturas por las fuerzas armadas en diferentes ciudades valiéndose de un decreto ejecutivo (PCM 021-2020) emitido por el cuerpo de ministros del régimen el lunes 16 de marzo anterior. El país registra oficialmente 52 casos positivos al 25 de marzo y se desconoce el dato real de casos sospechosos entre una población víctima de una campaña oficial permanente de pánico, que está activando a su vez una conflictividad social entre los sectores más empobrecidos que carecen de reservas alimentarias y de medios suficientes para proveerse.
El Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH) advirtió el mismo lunes 16 de marzo que ese tipo de medidas extremas impuestas por el régimen violento, que enfrenta 10 años de desobediencia civil por su carácter ilegítimo, acabarían atacando a la población.
Los policías y militares, semi analfabetas, que hacen cumplir el decreto de emergencia, extendido al 29 de marzo en todo el país, no respetan protocolos internacionales sobre uso de la fuerza e impiden con brutalidad la libertad de locomoción, reunión, expresión, asociación, libertad personal y la inviolabilidad del domicilio.
En base a ese decreto central también las municipalidades han impuesto ordenanzas de toques de queda absolutos entre 48 y 72 horas en el Distrito Central, Comayagua, San Pedro Sula, Ceiba, Choluteca y El Progreso. También en Puerto Cortés y Santa Cruz de Yojoa, donde se registraron los primeros casos positivos por coronavirus.
En todas esas ciudades son las policías municipales o las fuerzas militares en general las que hacen cumplir las ordenanzas sin manuales de procedimientos en este tipo de emergencias.
En un barrio de Comayagüela, cinco hombres que el martes se acercaron a comer alrededor de una “olla común” preparada por mujeres defensoras de la Iniciativa Mesoamericana (IM) fueron detenidos y encerrados en una posta policial próxima, mientras las mujeres fueron conminadas a cancelar la actividad solidaria y encerrarse en sus casas.
Por las gestiones de IM y de este Comité, los hombres fueron liberados.
En Choluteca, Comayagua, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Puerto Cortés, Choloma, La Ceiba y El Progreso también hay reportes de detenciones arbitrarias seguidas de golpes, “sermones moralizantes”, insultos vulgares y torturas crueles en lugares aislados.
En el mejor de los casos, las personas privadas de libertad son liberadas fuera de los plazos que establece la Constitución, pero la decisión policial en general es mantenerlas encerradas “hasta que la emergencia finalice”.
Hay registro de detención? Hay remisión de casos a la Fiscalía? Son alimentados dignamente? Gozan de medidas de bioseguridad? Pueden comunicarse con sus familias? No hay respuestas aún a estas preguntas.
En los últimos días han sido virales las imágenes en una posta policial en la capital y una cancha deportiva en Siguatepeque donde la policía militar obliga a las personas detenidas a realizar entrenamientos militares y trabajos forzados, por “irrespetar” el toque de queda absoluto de la dictadura.
En casi la totalidad de los casos, las personas arrestadas realizaban misiones de aprovisionamiento alimentario o de medicamentos para sus familias.
En vista de los hechos hacemos un llamado a las instituciones con salvoconductos excepcionales para circular en el país, entre ellas el ministerio de Derechos Humanos y el Comisionado Nacional de Derechos Humanos, que aseguren el respeto a la integridad física y la vida de todas las personas detenidas. Asimisimo, llamamos a las Naciones Unidas a levantar un censo de detenciones arbitrarias y de tratos crueles durante esta emergencia sanitaria, porque el régimen oculta o minimiza los datos, con la misma lógica de conveniencia que maneja los contagios. El ocultamiento o manipulación de la información pública es un grave riesgo adicional para la vida y las libertades del pueblo hondureño en momentos cuando se impone la inmovilidad social por la fuerza. No debe tolerarse en ninguna circunstancia, peor en ésta. De los hechos y de los hechores, ni olvido ni perdón C O F A D E H Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 25 de marzo de 2020

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Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

 

International Civil Society Organizations Call for the Colombian Government to Investigate Killing of Marco Rivadeneira and to Protect Human Rights Defenders March 25, 2020

 

We are grieved to learn of the death of Marco Rivadeneira, a community leader in Putumayo, Colombia. Rivadeneira was killed on March 19, 2020 by three armed men who entered a meeting where Rivadeneira and other community members were discussing voluntary eradication agreements between farmers and the Colombian government.

Rivadeneira was a human rights defender, a promoter of the peace accords, and a proponent of voluntary coca eradication efforts in his rural community. He was a leader of the Puerto Asis Campesino Association and a representative to the Guarantees Roundtable (a process intended to protect human rights defenders). Rivadeneira was also the representative of his region for the national network of 275 Colombian human rights groups known as the Coordinación Colombia Europa Estados Unidos. Coordinación and its members are close partners of many of our organizations.

This killing “underscores once again the lack of security guarantees for the work of human rights defenders and the lack of political will on the part of the Colombian government to dismantle the criminal structures and paramilitary organizations that continue to attack social leaders and those who defend peace in the countryside,” as Coordinación asserts. The Coordinación urges the government to act decisively to ensure that “enemies of peace” do not use the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 virus to continue to exterminate social leaders.

107 social leaders were assassinated in 2019, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights office in Colombia. One out of three human rights defenders killed in 2019 (documented by Frontline Defenders) was from Colombia. 2020 has started off with a wave of violence against them.

We urge the Colombian government to ensure this crime is effectively investigated and prosecuted and to communicate what steps are being taken to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the Colombian government to provide effective guarantees for human rights defenders, social leaders, and those working to build peace in Colombia. This starts with the vigorous implementation of the 2016 peace accords in Colombia, including convoking the National Commission of Security Guarantees to create and implement a plan to protect communities and social leaders at risk.

We urge the U.S. government to vigorously support peace accord implementation in Colombia. This includes adhering to the drug policy chapter of the accord which mandates working closely with farming communities to voluntarily eradicate and replace coca with government assistance, rather than returning to ineffective and inhumane aerial spraying programs.

Colombia must not lose more leaders like Marco Rivadeneira who have worked so valiantly to bring human rights protections and peace to their communities.

Signed by:

AFL-CIO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amazon Watch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amnesty International U.S.A.
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)                                                                                                                                                                                                  Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America                                                                                                                                                                                      Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Church World Service                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Colombia Grassroots Support                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        New Jersey Colombia Human Rights Committee                                                                                                                                                                                                              Institute for Policy Studies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Drug Policy Project International                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Institute on Race, Equality, and Human Rights                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Latin America Working Group (LAWG)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office                                                                                                                                                                                                Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Movement for Peace in Colombia, New York                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oxfam                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presbyterian Peace Fellowship                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights                                                                                                                                                                                                                              United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries                                                                                                                                                                                              Washington Office on Latin America                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective

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