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. 

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:

No Wall, No Registry, No White Supremacy

By: Ivanna Salgado, CRLN Immigration Organizer Intern

[Espa ñ ol Aqui]

Were the words that were screamed with much enthusiasm by several protesters and organizations on June 15th, 2017 to push the city of Chicago to amend the Welcoming City Ordinance with no carve outs.

In 2012, Chicago passed the Welcoming City Ordinance establishing guidelines on how Chicago police interacts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),...

End the embargo to help the people of Cuba and the US!

Under the guise of "helping the Cuban people," the current president has reinstated some restrictions on travel and trade that had been lifted by executive order during the Obama administration. One of the restrictions announced forbids individuals from travelling under the people to people travel category, requiring them to travel with a group. Another change forbids U.S. citizens or companies to do business with tourist sites in Cuba controlled by the Cuban military. For more information click here.

As faith communities and human rights organizations in Cuba, the U.S. and around the world have long asserted, the human rights of Cubans and the people of the U.S. would best be served by lifting all travel restrictions and finally ending the rest of the embargo. Congress needs to act to end these restrictions permanently! There are currently bi-partisan bills in the House and Senate to finally end the travel restrictions and the embargo. In Illinois we are concentrating on the House of Representatives, since IL Senators are (or soon will be) co-sponsors of the Senate bills.

Now while the restrictions are in the news, take a moment to call your Illinois Representative ( click here to find their contact info ) and ask them to co-sponsor three bi-partisan bills in the House to end restrictions on travel and trade: HR 525 , HR 442 and HR 351 . For more info on bills, current Illinois sponsors and a sample script click here .

Working together we have made a lot of progress and we will keep working until these harmful restrictions are ended!

May 2017 Human Rights Updates in Honduras

(Photo: OFRANEH, May25th; March of Indigenous and Black women in Tegucigalpa demanding a stop of the criminalization and prosecution of women human rights defenders and #JusticeforBertaCaceres )

(Español Aqui)

In March of 2017, Global Witness published a report that named Honduras as the most dangerous country in the world for human rights and environmental defenders. This caused commotion in the Honduran government and media, especially because of the involvement of government officials with transnational corporations and development projects. A few days later, two CRLN staff members and one board member traveled to Honduras in a La Voz de los de Abajo delegation. They joined many international visitors, organizations and other delegations in the country for commemoration events on the first anniversary of Berta Cáceres’ death. Our delegation saw and talked first hand with human rights defenders, leaders of indigenous communities, laborers, campesinxs, opposition members and students who explained the perils of defending their rights in Honduras. The following report reflects the demands and dangers described in the Global Witness Report and heard by our delegation in March from directedaffected communities. In Honduras, like in all of Latin America , being a environmental and human rights defender is a great danger. Read more here for May updates on human rights issues in Honduras.

TRUST Act NOW!

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( Español Aqui) CRLN is a proud supporter of the IL TRUST Act and the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois!

The TRUST Act recently passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 31 to 21. The TRUST Act will help keep federal immigration enforcement separate from local law enforcement, will enact safe zones in communities, will help immigrant crime victims seek legal assistance, and prevent Illinois from participating in any sort of discriminatory registry. Read more HERE!

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