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. 

Pedal for Peace on September 23

Sign up now to ride in CRLN's 30th Anniversary Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon on Saturday, September 23, 1-5pm! This is a great way to make a difference in the lives of people in Latin America and right here in Chicago! Last year we raised $20,000 to support scholarships in Guatemala and El Salvador, health promoter trainings in rural Colombia, legal aid for campesinos seeking land tenure in Honduras, organizing costs for deportation defense and tenants rights' campaigns in Chicago. With your help, we can raise even more this year. Please invite your friends to participate!

There are 2 changes this year:

Expanding Sanctuary to Include Art, Food and Justice

By Ivanna Salgado, Immigration Organizer Intern

1 August 2017

“Sanctuary Cafe is a new, independent cafe located inside University Church in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The ethos behind Sanctuary Cafe arises out of our desire to create a transformational place that induces a close connection between home baked smells, art and justice advocacy in a meticulously curated environment. Sanctuary Cafe is a vibrant justice, art, media, entertainment and activist destination dedicated to justice and human rights organizing.” -...

TRUST Act Victory: Rauner Escucha! Estamos en la Lucha!

By Ivanna Salgado, CRLN Summer Intern

3 August 2017

On Tuesday, August 1st, a group of leaders from many immigrant rights organizations and faith communities in the Chicagoland area met at the Thompson Center to deliver postcards to Governor Bruce Rauner in support of the Illinois TRUST Act . All together 3,600 postcards were delivered. Our partners at Lake Street Church of Evanston, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, St. Nicholas Roman...

Dancing Without Borders!

Anna, a 20 year old from Guatemala, and her family, presented themselves at the Mexico-U.S. border at the end of last year, seeking political asylum. Border Patrol agents separated Anna from her family and are holding her at Eloy Detention Center in Arizona while the rest of her family was allowed to move to Chicago to await their asylum hearing. Anna's family is sponsored by the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ and many other Immigrant Welcoming Congregations in the Chicagoland area. Their goal is to free Anna from detention on bond, allowing her join the entire...

Please Help Release Anna from Eloy Detention Center!

CRLN’s EAD “asks” Letters

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Make a Call for the Trust Act and Welcoming City Ordinance!

Let's make 50 calls to the Governor's Office this week in support of the TRUST Act! #WelcomingIL #ExpandSanctuary

Please record your calls here: http://bit.ly/2sQ8uQk

El...

Make a Call for Wilmer's Release!

Please share this message from our friends at Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD). "No me quiero morir aquí" - Wilmer, 6/17/17 #ReleaseWilmer Wilmer y Celene han estado luchando por su liberación desde que Wilmer fue detenido violentamente en Marzo. Wilmer esta parcialmente paralizado y los guardias adentro del centro de detención lo han estado lastimando a propósito. Recientemente se callo y su salud se a puesto...

A win for social movements in Buenaventura, Colombia!

[Español aqui] From May 16 – June 6, 2017, 89 civil societies in the port city of Buenaventura called for an indefinite general strike, demanding the Colombian government provide basic infrastructure (such as sanitation, housing and clean water), public services (such as education and health care), and creation of dignified jobs. Over 80% of the residents in the largely Afro-Colombian population live in economic poverty without these public goods and services, in spite of the fact that Buenaventura is Colombia’s most important international port that generates billions of dollars of revenue. However, neoliberal privatization of the port slashed wages and put profits largely into the hands of private owners, and expansion of the port destroyed the coastal mangroves that were spawning sites for fish, ruining fishing as an occupation. The strike addressed years of government abandonment, lack of investment, and structural racism.

The strike was extremely well organized, disciplined and peaceful, and they used blockades to shut down truck traffic to the port until the government would negotiate in good faith with them. In contrast, instead of negotiating in the beginning, the government sent in the Anti-Riot Unit of the National Police (ESMAD), which on May 19 th used gas, helicopters, stun bombs, tanks, and firearms against a peaceful blockade that included children, pregnant women, youth and elderly people. In subsequent days, ESMAD started firing teargas into residential areas of vulnerable populations who live in wooden houses on stilts, where teargas easily entered and threatened to asphyxiate especially babies and young children.

In a press conference on June 1, human rights defender and member of Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Black Communities Process, or PCN), Danelly Estupiñan asserted “we reject the Colombian State’s military response to an issue that could have been resolved by political means, it’s as if social protest were a crime.”

Action Alert: Contact officials to demand protection for Rio Blanco

Para Espa ñol: https://crln.org/alertapararioblanco CRLN is seriously concerned about increasing levels of violent threats against the Lenca indigenous inhabitants of Rio Blanco, who have been resisting the illegal construction of a hydroelectric dam across a river on their lands. This is exactly the type of escalating threats that ended in the murder of Berta Caceres, so it is imperative that we act now. We received a request from the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) for international voices to add to COPINH's complaints to the Honduran authorities about the threats and crops destruction and to ask them to act to protect members of the Rio Blanco community.. Apparently, the police have started accompanying armed men with guns responsible for the threats rather than arresting them. Please email the Human Rights officer at the U.S. Embassy, Jason Smith, SmithJA6@state.gov , or call the Embassy at 011 504 2236-9320 and ask to be connected to Jason Smith. Please also call the Honduran Ambassador to the U.S., Jorge Alberto Milla Reyes, 1-202 966-7702. You can use the following script: "I am very concerned about the increasing frequency of violent threats by men with guns against members of the community of Rio Blanco, Intibuca, including death threats against the children of Francisco Javier Sanchez. Threats of increasing frequency preceded the murder of Berta Caceres, who worked with this community, so the threats must be taken very seriously. The community has identified one individual making threats--Franklin Madrid--and has asked for the authorities to arrest him and any others making threats. Instead, the police have accompanied those making the threats.The U.S. funds training for the Honduran police. If they are abusing their positions as law enforcement, they should not receive U.S. funds. Please call on the Honduran authorities to protect the lives of people in Rio Blanco by arresting and bringing to justice those who are harassing them." The COPINH letter follows:

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