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Join us for a Special Event with
Author Kathy Osberger

Kathleen Osberger has been a steadfast supporter and friend of CRLN for many years. Kathy is not only a dedicated human rights defender and activist but also a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who has provided crucial support to the human rights community in Chicago, particularly by offering care and counseling to trauma and torture survivors.

We invite you to join us on Thursday, September 21, at 7 pm at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Chicago as we celebrate the launch of Kathy’s new memoir, “I Surrender.”

Kathy’s memoir is a powerful testimony to her experiences in Chile. In September of 1973, a coup d’état, with the backing of the United States, toppled the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. Kathy arrived in Chile in 1975, during the early years of the dictatorship. Upon her arrival, she was entrusted with a secret: the religious women she would be living with were providing refuge to dissidents targeted by Pinochet’s secret police. “I Surrender” vividly portrays the solidarity of the Chilean people and the transformative role played by nuns and priests dedicated to serving the poor, while highlighting the changing and challenged Catholic Church.

Books will be sold at the event. And if you cannot make it on September 21, we recommend you watch an interview where Kathy shares some of her ideas and feelings behind her book. Click here or below to see the interview.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at jgomez@crln.org.

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En solidaridad y resistencia permanente,

Jhonathan F. Gómez

   

 

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Join us for a Condensed / Smaller
Pedal for Peace 2023 Celebration

(You can download our flyers below)

As we approach the end of summer, CRLN enters a period of transition. Change can be both positive and necessary, but what remains unchanged is CRLN’s unwavering commitment to the liberation of the people of Latin America. Our work persists, it is part of our collective resistance and is driven by solidarity and our actions.

This year, the Pedal for Peace project will take on a more condensed format compared to previous years. Rest assured, we’ll still be bikes, as well as walking and running in our barrios. While it may not be as elaborate as before, our partner organizations – Centro Romero, Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities, Chicago-Guatemala Partnership, and Concern America – are looking forward to a celebration of friendship and solidarity. And yes, we will continue to raise funds for our ongoing projects.

We kindly invite you to make a donation by clicking here.

Join us on Sunday, September 17, at 11 am on the north side of Chicago, at Emmerson (Louis) Park (1820 W Granville Ave.). The event will be two hours of biking, running, walking, and communal celebration. We have a brief program planned, which will start at 11am and wrap up around 1 pm. Following this, we will migrate a few blocks to Centro Romero (6216 N Clark St.) for refreshments, poetry readings, and to continue celebrating our friendship and solidarity.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at jgomez@crln.org.

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En solidaridad y resistencia permanente,

Jhonathan F. Gómez

 

 

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Hope Vaughn 

Case Manager

Hope Vaughn is a Connecticut local who’s been advocating and organizing in Chicago for the past 3 years. Hope has her BSW, MSW, and LSW in the state of IL. Hope is passionate about international social work, immigration justice, and community collaboration. Hope has been organizing with various agencies throughout her time in Chicago. Hope’s involvement with Westside Mutual Aid has aided families and seniors in their obtainment of nourishing food throughout the West Side of Chicago. Her continued support through Chicago Community Jail Support has increased resources and volunteer attainment throughout the movement. Hope has experience in studying and living abroad in Spain, Dominican Republic, and Chile. Her Spanish speaking abilities are an asset to the Sanctuary Working Groups Team. Hope is passionate about spirituality, social justice, and community. She strives to live out radical values as did Dorothy Day, a big lifetime influence of hers.

Contact Information

hope@crln.org

(331) 465-1161

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CRLN is glad to announce a special event in partnership DePaul Art Museum and host Human Rights defenders for a discussion on the legacy of Central American activism and solidarity in the 1980s, its influence in Chicago and the work for Human Rights today. International Solidarities: Panel with Current Central American Humanitarian Defenders will happen on Wednesday, April 19 at 6pm at the DePaul Art Museum. Our dear colleagues Daysi Funes, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Centro Romero, Yesenia Portillo from CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and Mario Venegas, a Human Rights defender from Chile with the Chicago Torture Justice Center and a torture survivor himself will participate in the panel. The event will be co-moderated by Lydia Saravia, faculty at DePaul University, both Lydia and Mario are CRLN board members and will add their unique experiences and thoughts to the event. Jhonathan F. Gómez, Latin America Program Coordinator will co-moderate the event. This event is directly related and a way for the people of Chicago to respond to the art exhibit ART FOR THE FUTURE: ARTISTS CALL AND CENTRAL AMERICAN SOLIDARITIES, which opened at the museum on March 23 and will be remain there until August 6, 2023. The exhibit “¨¨¨focuses on the seminal 1980s activist campaign, Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. Growing out of the friendships, solidarity networks, and political organizing amongst artists and activists such as Daniel Flores y Ascencio, Lucy Lippard, Doug Ashford, Leon Golub, and Coosje van Bruggen”.

This event is also presented in partnership with DePaul University’s Center for Latino Research and the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse.

Please register here.
‣ Additional information here.

Contact Jhonathan F. Gómez at jgomez@crln.org to learn more.

We also recommend this video by PBS NewsHour on the exhibit

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Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2023 (Virtual)

Swords into Plowshares: Achieving Enough for all and Pursuing Peace

Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) from April 25-27 is an opportunity for people to come together, learn about why public policy is important, and take our message to Capitol Hill. Workshops are a highlight of EAD, providing opportunities to hear more from partners about their work on specific justice issues. 

EAD will include opportunities for worship, advocacy training, and workshops on Latin America (see two of the workshops below)Visit the EAD website to learn more about the event.

You can register at https://attendify.co/ecumenical-advocacy-days-pbfNWPyThe Registration fee is $50.00. All the sessions from EAD are available on the platform for a month after EAD so if you are busy on those days you can still access the presentations.

Please contact Marilyn McKenna at mmckenna@crln.org if registration fees are a barrier to your participation or for more information. 

 


Latin America Workshops at Ecumenical Advocacy Days

Cuba:  End the violence of sanctions and build a better future for the Cuban People

Cuba is facing one of the worst economic crises in its history. And while the Cuban people are suffering, the US continues to pursue counterproductive and ineffective policies that only serve to make the situation worse.  The Cuban people are facing shortages of clean water, medicine, and medical equipment, and the price of food has skyrocketed.   At the same time, it is nearly impossible for U.S. humanitarian and faith organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the Cuban people.  Private businesses and entrepreneurs who were thriving under the opening of restrictions under the Obama administration have been decimated in recent years.  And hundreds of thousands of Cubans have attempted to migrate to the US through the southern border because they see no hope in remaining on the island.   While Congress must ultimately pass legislation to end the embargo, the Biden administration can take measures to ease restrictions imposed by the Trump administration. Join this workshop to hear from our partners on the ground and experts in US Cuba policy.  Learn what you can do to advocate for the Cuban people and an end to counterproductive US policies towards the island.

In Search of Safety: The Shrinking Asylum Space and Challenges for Asylum Seekers at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Faced with wars and other acts of violence that plague so many nations, individuals are often forced to make the difficult decision to leave their home country and seek asylum. In this workshop, we will learn about the experience of asylum seekers who come to the U.S. and the current efforts by the faith community to restore U.S. asylum.  We will share how the lack of peace and security in home and transit countries present particular challenges for today’s asylum seekers, highlighting Honduras as one case example. This workshop will be moderated by Susan Krehbiel of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

 

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Widening the Circle Breakfast – Opening Your Space to Asylum Seekers in Chicagoland 

Asylum seekers risk everything in the hopes of finding protection and welcome in the United States. In the first year of arriving, few needs are more crucial than finding a safe and reliable home to stay in for a while. As more and more asylum seekers arrive at our city’s doorstep, there is a very urgent need for the wonderful people of Chicago to open their spaces to their newest neighbors.
 
Do you belong to a faith community or organization that might be willing to provide temporary housing for asylum seekers? Would you perhaps be willing to host an asylum seeker in your home, or support a group that is providing space to our newest neighbors in need?

Come and learn how to make it happen from several faith communities, organizations, and individuals who have opened their space and hearts to asylum seekers throughout Chicagoland!

Register at https://bit.ly/3lA6byF

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This resource guide is a helpful introduction to passionate faith communities, organizations, and community members interested in providing temporary housing (3 months to over one year) to our asylum-seeking neighbors. Providing a safe and welcoming place for asylum seekers to call home for a while is a beautiful way to put our faith and belief in humanity into action – to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is also a powerful expression of solidarity amidst a complicated, and often unjust immigration system. 

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The 14th Annual El Pueblo Canta Concert

April 29, 2023 at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM CST

In Person & Live Streamed Concert
Co-sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine Chicago, Centro Romero, CRLN, and Wellington UCC and in solidarity with Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East and Bright Stars of Bethlehem El Pueblo Canta: A Concert to Celebrate the Movement for Immigrant Justice, Un concierto para celebrar el Movimiento para la Justicia al inmigrante. For the fourteenth year El Pueblo Canta brings people together from across the city to celebrate our diversity, embolden the work for immigrant justice, and embrace the belief that who we are, is greater than any fear. All proceeds benefit the work of immigrant justice. El Pueblo Canta will be an In Person & Live Streamed Concert.

In Person:

  • Tickets can be purchased ahead of time through registration or at the door.
  • COVID protocol – masks optional
  • Doors open at 5:30 PM – Traditional Latino and Middle Eastern food for purchase.
  • Concert 7:00 PM – 8:30PM.
  • Event held at North Shore Baptist Church, 5244 N. Lakewood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 (click here for map).
  • Parking:  Plenty of residential street parking available.  No parking lot at the church.

Live Stream:

  • Tune in 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST
  • Tickets are appreciated in order to receive the link for the livestream.

 

2023 Concert Featuring Music by:

Alhurya Dabka (dance) group

Dare2Dream, Centro Romero Youth Choir & Donald Ortega

El Wadi Ensemble, featuring Anita Darwish and Hassan Salameh

Wanda I. Pabellón-García

Wellington Community Choir

 

HOLDING ON TO HOPE AND HUMANITY

WHERE ALL ARE WELCOME

 

More information / Más detalles del evento

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CRLN joins Alianza Americas & their 50+ member organizations in demanding that the authorities of #Michoacán and #Colima take all necessary actions to locate #humanrights defenders, Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca, a lawyer, and Antonio Díaz Valencia, leader of the Indigenous community of Aquila, #Mexico. State officials must guarantee protections for people defending ethnic territory and the environment. 

Read our full letter here 

Join us by signing the petition

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Chicago Il a 01 de febrero de 2023

Embajadora Reyna Torres Mendívil

Cónsul General de México en Chicago

PRESENTE

Apreciable Embajadora

Alianza Americas, es una red conformada por 56 organizaciones de la sociedad civil dirigidas por personas inmigrantes latinoamericanas y caribeñas radicadas en Estados Unidos de América, nos dirigimos a usted con la finalidad de que, a través suyo, haga llegar nuestra preocupación al presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrados, sobre la desaparición de los defensores de derechos humanos, el profesor Antonio Díaz Valencia y el abogado Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca.  Sabemos que ambos han sido víctimas de secuestro y desaparición forzada, hecho que se perpetró cuando los dos  se trasladaban al Estado de Colima, después de haber salido de una asamblea comunitaria que se realizó en el auditorio comunal del municipio de Aquila, en el Estado de  Michoacán.

La última vez que sus familias tuvieron contacto con ellos fue el pasado domingo 15 de enero a las 18:50. Posteriormente, la camioneta en la que se trasladaban, fue encontrada en la carretera federal conocida como zona de topes de Cerro de Ortega, municipio de Tecomán, estado de Colima, presentando impactos de bala, sin que ellos fueran localizados al interior ni a los alrededores, por lo que se presume que tanto el profesor Valencia como el abogado Ricardo Lagunes fueron privados de su libertad por desconocidos, situación que pone en grave riesgo su integridad física y psíquica y su vida.Tenemos conocimiento de que, en dicha asamblea, entre otras cosas, se abordaron temas relacionados a la operación de la mina de hierro Las Encinas, propiedad de la empresa transnacional Ternium. De acuerdo con información de la comunidad, desde marzo de 2012 la empresa ha incumplido con los compromisos económicos y sociales asumidos con los 465 comuneros, incluyendo un acuerdo del pago de regalías por la extracción del mineral.[1] Además, tenemos conocimiento que hasta el momento, la comunidad de Aquila, no cuenta con representación comunitaria elegida democráticamente y que, de acuerdo con información de la comunidad, estaba previsto que las elecciones ejidales se realizarán en el mes de febrero y que Antonio Díaz es un fuerte candidato para ganar la representación. 


[1]  Aquila: autoridades acusan a minera Ternium de incumplir compromisos.

https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2023/01/08/estados/aquila-autoridades-acusan-a-minera-ternium-de-incumplir-compromisos/

Cabe señalar que la mina es un actor económico y político que tiene mucho poder en la región y que, de acuerdo con información de la propia Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), se presume que la presencia de la mina ha generado graves divisiones entre la comunidad.[1]

En este sentido, desde hace aproximadamente cuatro años, Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca, fundador de Asesoría y Defensa legal del Sureste, se encuentra acompañando legalmente a la comunidad para obligar a la empresa a cumplir con lo convenido, mientras que Antonio Díaz Valencia, como líder comunitario, acompañaba a Ricardo en el proceso de documentación y en el establecimiento de diálogo con la comunidad para que tuvieran conocimiento de las estrategias legales a seguir.

Esta situación es para nosotros de suma gravedad sobre todo porque su desaparición se da en un contexto en el que distintas personas defensoras del territorio y del medio ambiente han sido

víctimas de delitos y amenazas a sus vidas.[2] En los últimos 3 años, más de 50 personas han sido asesinadas,[3]además de que se han documentado diversas agresiones como intimidación,

hostigamiento, amenazas y agresiones físicas contra otras personas. Además, es conocido que parte de la estrategia que han implementado las empresas mineras para continuar con la explotación de minerales, consiste en incumplir sus compromisos en perjuicio de la comunidad que comúnmente termina dividida.[4] Asimismo, se ha documentado que es frecuente que estas empresas realicen acuerdos con grupos de delincuencia organizada con el fin de sembrar temor y desarticular los procesos de exigencia y defensa de los derechos comunitarios. 

Desde nuestras organizaciones tenemos conocimiento de que las familias de Ricardo y Antonio, así como diversas organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos, han implementado diferentes acciones de denuncia, logrando incluso que, el Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada de Naciones Unidas, expidiera una acción urgente al gobierno de México para que implemente una estrategia articulada de búsqueda de Ricardo y Antonio de la cual sus familias deben ser parte y deben estar notificadas de todos los avances.

Por lo anterior, es que nos dirigimos a usted para que haga llegar nuestro llamado urgente al presidente de México para que se realicen las siguientes acciones:

1. Que en cumplimiento con las medidas cautelares emitida por el Comité contra la Desaparición forzada, la Fiscalía General de la República (FGR) realice las investigaciones correspondientes para dar con los responsables de la desaparición de Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca y el profesor Antonio Díaz Valencia, agotando todas las líneas de investigación incluidas las que puedan estar relacionadas con la conflictividad generada en la zona por la presencia de la empresa minera Ternium.

2. En consecuencia, haga un llamado urgente para que las fiscalías generales en los Estado de Colima y de Michoacán, realicen las acciones de investigación correspondiente en articulación con las líneas de investigación identificadas por la FGR.  

3. En el mismo sentido, se verifique que la Comisión Nacional de Búsqueda (CNB) realice todas las acciones necesarias para localizar con vida a Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca y al profesor Antonio Díaz Valencia, fortaleciendo sus estrategias en conjunto con las Comisiones estatales de búsqueda de los Estados de Colima y Michoacán.

4. Solicite al gobernador de Michoacán y a la gobernadora de Colima, brinden toda la información de contexto sobre violencia y presencia de grupos de delincuencia organizada que operan en sus estados para facilitar las investigaciones penales que se están realizando y que, asimismo, realicen todas las acciones de seguimiento para verificar que tanto las fiscalías como las comisiones de búsqueda,  colaboren y participen activamente en la investigación y acciones de búsqueda en coordinación con sus homólogas a nivel federal. 

5. En particular, pida al gobernador de Michoacán que solicite al Presidente municipal de Aquila que proporcione toda la información de contexto y de presencia de grupos de delincuencia organizada que operen en el municipio y sus alrededores, con el fin de acercar la mayor información posible que permita a las FGR construir y fortalecer sus líneas de investigación. 

6. Se garantice la integridad y seguridad de las familias de Ricardo y Antonio, así como de la comunidad de Aquila que se encuentra realizando actos de protesta tanto en carreteras como en las instalaciones de la minera. 

Agradecemos de antemano su comprensión y la facilitación para que nuestras preocupaciones lleguen a manos del señor presidente, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Atentamente,

Claudia Lucero Durango Unido en Chicago 

Yolanda Avila Colectivo de Mujeres Trasnacionales

Hayde González Cambiando Vidas

Giselle Rodríguez Center for Immigrant progress

Angela Zambrano Red de líderes y organizaciones de migrantes en EEUU (RedMx)


[1] CNDH. Informe especial sobre los grupos de autodefensa en el Estado de Michoacán y las violaciones a los derechos humanos relacionadas con el conflicto. 2016. Disponible en https://www.cndh.org.mx/sites/all/doc/Informes/Especiales/2016_IE_gruposautodefensa.pdf

[2] Desaparecen a activista contra mina en Guerrero.

[3] México: 58 defensores de ambiente y territorio fueron asesinados en los últimos tres años.

[4] La minería, transformación

necesaria.https://contralinea.com.mx/opinion/la-mineria-transformacion-necesaria/

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