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.

Support CRLN! CLICK HERE to donate!


DID YOU KNOW?  CRLN has monthly E-Digests! Get informed about our events, solidarity work, immigration and Latin American news and much more!             

Want to sign up? Email shunter-smith@CRLN.org with "E-digest subscription" in the title or sign up here.

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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. 

Afro-Colombians Demand Territorial Respect & an Ethnic Commission at the Peace Negotiations

( Español aquí ) UPDATE: Several days after Afro-Colombian communities occupied the PanAmerican highway in Northern Cauca, and after sustaining teargas and rubber bullets from Colombian security forces, local and federal officials opened negotiations with communities. Organized Afro-Colombians are adamant that their territories be recognized and respected now and during the implementation of the Peace Accords. While they negotiate, their leaders continue to be threatened by paramilitary actors who CRLN and many others insist must be demobilized if the Peace Process is really intended to bring peace.

Click here to support the expansion of the Peace Process between the Colombian state and the ELN guerillas. We'll be in touch soon with more action items and in the meantime, click here to learn about a delegation opportunity focused on what's happening on the ground in Colombia at this crucial moment in the country's history.


From 4/27/16: Last week, CRLN was in Washington DC talking to Illinois members of Congress asking them to support an Ethnic Commission at Colombia's Peace Negotiations in Havana, Cuba. Now, 2,000 Afro-Colombians are blocking the Panamerican highway in Cauca demanding that their territories be respected according to Colombia's Law 70 & that their communities along with Indigenous peoples get a place at the table to put an end to a war that's affected them most of all: Protesters are asking for dialogues with the Colombian state to allow for an Ethnic Commission representing Afro-Colombians & Indigenous Peoples. Instead, they're being attacked with teargas & rubber bullets.

CRLN Report back from EAD 2016

( Español aquí ) From April 15th through April 20, CRLN was present in DC, engaging in protests against state violence, conferences on racial justice and transnational organizing, and legislative visits to Illinois Congresspeople. CRLN joined efforts with Ecumenical Advocacy Days, the SOA Watch Spring Days of Action, and the Days of Action Against the U.S. Blockade of Cuba. We were joined by organizers and activists from across the country and several of our CRLN leaders. Many of you, our CRLN members, were with us in spirit having signed onto our letters to Congress reinforcing our demands around Colombia, Honduras and Cuba. Since returning, we’ve continued supporting Afro-descendant and Indigenous movements in Colombia as well as Berta’s family and COPINH . After an exciting trip to DC full of important actions and political dialogue, we wanted to share with CRLN members what we’ve learned and where our policy asks are at this point.

We encourage you to call your Rep and Senators using this script to continue urging that they support our asks below regarding Honduras, Colombia and Cuba . Also, stay tuned to CRLN’s upcoming events and facebook page for more local actions to support Berta’s family, COPINH, and the movements for peace and justice in Honduras, Colombia and Cuba.

Continue Supporting Jose Juan, Father of 5,in sanctuary at University Church

Jose Juan Federico Moreno , a father of 5 United States citizen children, is currently in sanctuary from deportation in University Church, a member and Immigrant Welcoming Congregation of CRLN , on Chicago’s South Side.

Jose Juan had been given until Friday April 15, 2016 to leave the country and ‘self-deport.’ When in front of a judge, he received a ruling from the court determining that his removal would constitute hardship on his children. However, ultimately, the court denied his appeal, because he could not provide a ten-year old pay stub or other proof of residence that dated back more than nine years.

Read more here to learn what you can do to support Jose Juan and his family.

CRLN is hiring an Executive Director – spread the word

(Español Aquí) The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America seeks a dynamic leader with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, and the ability to put those gifts into action to build a better world. Building on CRLN’s twenty-five years of human rights work, our Executive Director will lead us to the next level of analysis, partnership, and vision as we strengthen our work to promote sustainable economies, just relationships, and human dignity in our hemisphere.

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.”


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