image-title

CRLN participated in a meeting called by COPINH, the organization founded by the slain Indigenous environmental activist and feminist Berta Caceres. They are calling for urgent international support, as evidence linking powerful members of Honduran society to Berta’s murder has emerged in the trial of David Castillo, one of the people accused of planning the assassination. The family has always contended that there were other intellectual authors of the murder. In retaliation, there has been a media campaign linking Berta Caceres and COPINH with criminal activities and putting pressure on the court to return a “not guilty” verdict against Castillo and to keep the others from ever having a case brought to court.

Please read the urgent action alert from the Honduras Solidarity Network and send the letter, which is the written text after the graphic, by scrolling to the bottom and entering your information. Spanish text follows the English text. You can find the action alert by clicking here.

Read More
image-title

On July 18, 2020, 4 Garifuna men from Triunfo de la Cruz and a guest of the community were forcibly disappeared by men wearing Honduran Investigative Police Directorate vests. Their families have sought justice from the state but are unsatisfied with the lack of progress in the investigation and the contempt shown for their rights by the investigators.

Yesterday, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) sponsored a webinar calling for a new action from the international community: demand that the Honduran state incorporate the Committee for the Search and Investigation of the Disappeared of Triunfo de la Cruz (SUNLA) and any external experts it calls into the investigative process. SUNLA was formed at the request of the affected families and approved by the Assembly of the Garifuna people. Click here to read the letter to Honduran officials and sign on.

Aua Balde, member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, explained that international law gives families of those forcibly disappeared the right to information from the state from its investigation of the crime. The Honduran state has failed to share information with the Garifuna families. International law also gives families the right to appoint other investigators if they are not satisfied with the state’s investigation and obligates the state to work with and assist these alternative investigators.

OFRANEH believes the men were disappeared because of their successful appeal to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to rule on the state seizure of their land and forcible displacement of the Garifuna owners of that land in order to grant concessions to resort companies to build seaside hotels. The Court found in favor of the Garifuna in a ruling that directed the state to issue reparations and refrain from further forcible displacements and land seizures.

CRLN issued an action alert last July to its email list and signed onto a letter along with 221 other organizations demanding information of the whereabouts of the disappeared men, that the Honduran state comply with requests from the IACHR regarding information about the state investigation into their disappearance, compliance with the previous IACHR rulings about reparations, and protection for the family members and Garifuna communities at risk.

Read More

Latin America Program Coordinator Job Announcement

The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) seeks a Latin America Program Coordinator. CRLN has a staff of four that coordinate an interfaith education, action, and advocacy network. For over 30 years, CRLN has worked to open spaces for the voices of those in the Americas affected by U.S. policies and has worked in solidarity with movements for social justice and human rights. Through educational events, delegations, speaker tours, and regular issue updates, CRLN educates and mobilizes to empower people to advocate for positive changes in U.S. policy in the Americas with elected city, state and federal officials.

View and download the job description here:

Read More
image-title

CRLN is alarmed by the brutal attacks since April 28 by the PNC (Colombian National Police) and ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squad) against protesters in multiple Colombian cities. These most recent national protests follow previous ones in November 2019 and September 2020, this time set off by the proposal by President Duque for a tax increase that would have placed a particular burden on those already suffering from loss of income from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, people were continuing to demand government implementation of the Peace Accords and an end to systematic assassinations of social leaders.

Between April 28 and May 3, the public security forces have killed 21 people, wounded 208, committed 42 aggressions and abuses against human rights defenders and journalists, engaged in 10 cases of sexual assaults against women, and arbitrarily detained 503, according to the Defend the Life Campaign (Campana para defender la vida). Last night in Cali, there were reports of police opening fire against protesters again and more lives lost and injured.

The United States, which provides funding to Colombian security forces, must speak out against the actions of the Colombian National Police and ESMAD, the Anti-Riot Squad, that used such egregiously excessive force against people. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) has tweeted: “Peaceful protest & freedom of expression must be respected everywhere. U.S. aid to the PNC needs strong human rights protections and conditions. We should apply Leahy Law. No U.S. aid to Colombian ESMAD riot units that engage in gross human rights violations.” Email or call your members of Congress and ask them to call for an end to U.S. aid to any Colombian security forces that have engaged in these actions and send a strong message to Colombia that they must hold their security forces accountable for the harm they have caused..

For more information, see links below:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/05/colombia-amnistia-denuncia-respuesta-militarizada-represion-policial/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/05/colombia-amnistia-denuncia-respuesta-militarizada-represion-policial/

Read More
image-title

EAD 2021 is an opportunity to advocate for climate justice and support the global movement centered and led by people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequalities. #EAD2021 hopes to passionately advocate and reimagine a world that lives out the values of justice, equity, and beloved community. 

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

Early bird registration ends April 7. You can register at https://attendify.co/ecumenical-advocacy-days-pbfNWPyRegistration fees range from $15.00 – $50.00.   Please contact Marilyn McKenna at mmckenna@crln.orgif registration fees are a barrier to your participation.

Register for EAD before April 7, 2021 if you are interested in participating in the EAD organized lobby day. This gives the EAD staff time to schedule the meetings. If you register after April 7, you are not guaranteed to have a meeting set up for you.

Please contact Marilyn McKenna at mmckenna@crln.org for more information.


Latin America Workshops at Ecumenical Advocacy Days

Monday 4/19
10am CT — MCC, OXFAM, Bread for the World, CWS

Climate Change as a Driver of Forced Migration from Central America
Climate change is increasingly a driver of forced migration and displacement in Central America. As climate change worsens droughts, hurricanes, and crop diseases in the region, individuals are forced by hunger or lack of economic opportunities to leave their homes. Come hear from organizations supporting communities impacted by or facing risks from climate change in Central America. Learn how climate change intersects with other root causes of migration, what works in helping small farmers and communities adapt to a changing climate, and how you can support U.S. policies to address climate change in the region.
Speakers: Susana Lopez from Pastoral de la Tierra San Marcos, Dulce Gamboa, Barbara Ford Peace Center in El Quiché, or Guatemala cluster coordinator

1:30pm CT – Amazon Watch
What is President Biden’s Agenda in the Amazon Rainforest?
As part of his sweeping climate executive order, President Biden mandated the creation of a U.S. government plan to support protection of the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems that are important for regulating the global climate. How is the plan shaping up? What proposals have Amazonian Indigenous peoples and other grassroots social movements presented to stop destruction of their rainforest territories? What is the U.S. government’s role in regulating the operations of asset managers and banks that finance destruction and human rights violations in the Amazon? How can Congress be helpful?
Speakers: Patricia Gualinga from Ecuador, Moira Birss from Amazon Watch, Peter Hughes from REPAM.

1:30pm CT — MCC [This is from the Eco-Justice track but we are hoping to cross-list it!]
The impact of border walls on endangered species and sacred lands
Since 2017, billions of dollars have been spent to construct new walls on the U.S.-Mexico border. Construction has caused irreparable harm to public lands from Texas to Arizona, extracting millions of gallons of precious groundwater in the desert, encroaching on indigenous lands, severing migration routes and otherwise imperiling protected and endangered species. Dozens of laws that protect the environment, public health, and sacred lands were waived to speed construction. Find out how you can urge the Biden administration and your members of Congress to respond.
Moderator: Tammy Alexander, Director of National Advocacy and Program, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Panelists: Jennifer Johnson, Border Policy Advisor, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Tricia Cortez, Executive Director, Rio Grande International Study Center, Scott Nicol, Assistant Professor at South Texas College (McAllen) and co-author of two ACLU reports on the history and impacts of walls along the U.S.-Mexico border

Tuesday 4/20
1:30pm CT — LAWG/ELCA
Time for Progress: Advocacy for Just U.S. Foreign & Migration Policies towards Latin America
With a relentless focus on stopping migration, U.S. policy in the last few years has ignored many human rights challenges in the Western Hemisphere, including corruption, weak rule of law, and threats faced by environmental activists, indigenous peoples, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. Now we have the opportunity to restore asylum, protect migrants, and address the root causes of migration for those fleeing Central America and Mexico. There will also be time to ask questions about what we can do to fully reopen diplomatic relations with and travel to Cuba, protect peace in Colombia, and ask our government to prioritize protecting human rights and environmental defenders throughout the Americas. Come discuss with advocates how together we can build a more just immigration and foreign policy towards Latin America in this pivotal year.
Speakers: Lisa Haugaard & Daniella Burgi-Palomino (LAWG), Joaquin Mejia (Jesuit Center ERIC, Honduras), Melissa Vertiz Hernandez, Secretaria Tecnica, Grupo de Trabajo de Politicas Migratorias

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More
image-title

CRLN is seeking congregations to participate in the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia in April and May of 2021. We will distribute educational resources on Colombia’s Peace Process, the need to implement it fully, and the ever-growing number of victims.  We can work with you to help plan virtual worship and action opportunities for your congregation in April and May. For more information contact Marilyn McKenna at mmckenna@crln.org

 

Read More
image-title

5

April
TPS Webinar

Register at http://tiny.cc/crlnwebinar2

Join us to learn more about advocacy campaigns to gain permanent residency for current TPS holders and to expand TPS to include people from more countries.
After you register you will receive an email from Alianza Americas with zoom information.
Read More
image-title

Good Friday Walk for Justice: Rise Up and Roll Away the Stone! This event stems from the Christian tradition of the Stations of the Cross, where Jesus walked to his execution.  Who is being crucified today and what “stones” block their pathway to new life? At each station, we will name a particular form of injustice and call for transformation. April 2 marks this event’s 41st year, and, like last year, we will participate in the event online. Register for this event here!

This Good Friday, our collective community remembers that we belong to each other. We believe we have the power to rise up together and lean into the strength of our foundational bonds of justice for all.

We have the power to roll away stones of white supremacy, greed, and state violenc e. As we roll the stones away, we commit to co-create systems in which resources are shared, allowing our imaginations to generate radically new ways of living and thriving in a more just society.

We believe that the stone of injustice will be rolled away in our rejection of the status quo. As Easter people we recommit ourselves to choose actions of trans- formation. Together we pledge our efforts to bring about greater justice for all peoples and Earth itself.

Join us as together we reflect, pray, proclaim and celebrate the many ways that together we are Rolling the Stones Away.

To learn more about the walk go to walkforjusticechicago.com.

To support this year’s Walk, make checks payable to CRLN (memo GFWalk) and mail to CRLN, 5655 S. University Ave, Chicago 60637 or online: http://bit.ly/3rHuesZ

 

If you can’t join us for the zoom worship service you can watch a video and download the prayer booklet at https://crln.org/gfwj/
Read More

Rise Up and Roll Away the Stone

View or download the Prayer Booklet to use while you watch the Good Friday Walk for Justice

This Good Friday, our collective community remembers that we belong to each other. We believe we have the power to rise up together and lean into the strength of our foundational bonds of justice for all.

We have the power to roll away stones of white supremacy, greed, and state violenc e. As we roll the stones away, we commit to co-create systems in which resources are shared, allowing our imaginations to generate radically new ways of living and thriving in a more just society.

We believe that the stone of injustice will be rolled away in our rejection of the status quo. As Easter people we recommit ourselves to choose actions of trans- formation. Together we pledge our efforts to bring about greater justice for all peoples and Earth itself.

Join us as together we reflect, pray, proclaim and celebrate the many ways that together we are Rolling the Stones Away.

To learn more about the walk go to walkforjusticechicago.com.

To support this year’s Walk, make checks payable to CRLN (memo GFWalk) and mail to CRLN, 5655 S. University Ave, Chicago 60637 or online: http://bit.ly/3rHuesZ

Read More

CRLN is a member of the Honduras Solidarity Network, a network of 30 North American groups formed after the 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras in solidarity with a broad array of social movements and citizens opposed to the subsequent regime and seeking greater social justice and democracy.

We ask you to support the international campaign against the criminalization of 8 Honduran citizens, now in jail for peacefully protesting the concession illegally given to a mining company to extract iron ore from the Carlos Escaleras National Park–the primary source of water for many of the surrounding communities. Please click on the link below

Freedom for the Guapinol Water Protectors!

On February 9, 2021 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions stated that the arbitrary detention of the Guapinol Water Protectors is related to their work in defense of the environment.

Click here to Join the International Campaign to Demand Freedom for the Eight Guapinol Political Prisoners!

After clicking on the link above, you will find more information in English and Spanish. Scroll to the bottom to fill in your name and email address in order to send letters to Honduran and U.S. officials to call for the release of the Guapinol 8.

 
Read More