When people outside of Latin America think of Nazism in the region, they tend to imagine Nazis escaping to Argentina.
However, Latin America has a much deeper history with Nazism than just Argentina.
While not Nazism necessarily, you have had popular ideologies like Social Darwinism take hold in countries like Argentina or Brazil like you can read here.
"In the late 1800s, Latin American intellectuals, many of whom were politicians, used Darwin's ideas to promote mass immigration from Europe to 'whiten' and so 'evolve' their people."
"Most Latin Americans thought that society, like nature, evolved from primitive to complex structures, and saw the industrial societies of western Europe as being more culturally sophisticated than their own. They maintained that Latin American societies could evolve towards the supposedly superior European and US models."
"Between 1870 and 1930, more than 11 million Britons, Germans, Irish, Italians, Portuguese and Spaniards settled in Argentina, southern Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. By 1900, people of European origin dominated society in Argentina and Uruguay. Other nations with large indigenous populations and little available farmland--such as Mexico and Peru--saw much less immigration from Europe."
For other examples of White Supremacist ideologies in Latin America before and after Nazism became popular, you can read this article here on White Supremacist Colonies in Latin America.
Aryan Colony in Paraguay
Similarly, we have this example here of German immigrants bring Nazism to the Colombian city of Barranquilla.
"The purpose of this paper is to analyze the way in the mid-1930s, a group of German immigrants who openly expressed their adherence to National Socialism emerged in the city of Barranquilla, in the Colombian Caribbean. These groups explore their forms of organization, their political manifestations, the resources they used for their propaganda work, their more than likely connections with the outside world, and, in general, the way they were constituted as local manifestations of global processes characterized by the circulation of ideas and practices."But, when it comes to actual self-identified Nazis, what examples do we have?
Regardless, these are all mostly foreigners bringing Nazism to Latin America.
Any examples of such being promoted by actual Latin Americans?
For example, as you can see here, Chile used to have a torture camp run by actual Nazis.
The Colony: Chile's dark past uncovered | Al Jazeera Correspondent
Or, as you can see here, there was a time in Bolivia when Nazi flags would be hung over some colleges or have their name changed in a way that suggested possible support for Nazism. Here's a picture below that came from the link above (I did not take it or own it) and here's a description below to show what I mean.
"Corría el mes de Junio de 1940, la Segunda Guerra Mundial se encontraba en pleno desarrollo, y el director del Colegio Alemán-Pestalozzi de Santa Cruz, ubicado por aquel entonces por en la calle Ñuflo de Chávez, izaba la bandera Nazi, generando una airada protesta de la dirigencia estudiantil cruceña ..."
"Pero el caso del colegio aleman de Santa Cruz no es el único. En la ciudad de La Paz, durante el gobierno de Enrique Peñaranda se obligó a cambiar de nombre al Colegio Alemán (ahora lleva el nombre San Patricio) por creer que estaban a favor del Reich y sus políticas; es más, durante el cambio de nombre se obligó al colegio a destruir piezas que hacían referencia al gobierno Nazi.
Un testimonio relata: “En el salón grande, existía un cuadro grande de Hitler y al lado dos esvásticas. Después de que Bolivia tomó partido por los aliados, el cuadro y las esvásticas eran tapadas por unas cortinas para que nadie las vea, pero un día los descubrieron y les obligaron a quitarlas y las destruyeron. Según me contó la poeta, Alcira Cardona Torrico, incluso en las formaciones cívicas a los niños les hacían hacer el saludo ¡Heil Hitler!” (Tomado de la entrevista hecha al historiador Jose Roberto Arze)."
Or how, as you can read here, there were Brazilian Nazis in the 30s that enslaved children.
There's also the theory of the US using a famous Nazi to pursue Che Guevara where he was ultimately captured by the Bolivian military as you can read here.
Or how, as you can read here, Fidel Castro used Nazis to train his military.
Of course, those are all just a few examples. The history of Nazism in Latin America is MUCH deeper than just the examples provided above and I could go all day digging into it.
And, well after the days of World War 2 and the Cold War, you also have more recent examples of Nazism in Latin America.
Just recently, my sister sent me an article here on Facebook talking about a "Nazi wedding" that was held in Mexico.
She seemed oddly confused as to how the Mexicans in question would ever be accepted into Hitler's society and why anybody south of the border would support Nazism in Latin America.
"I did NAZI see that coming...." she said.
"Oh JEW...." I responded.
Well, we will cover briefly the incident of that "Mexican Nazi wedding" but there are WAY more modern examples of Nazism in Latin America.
So let's get to every example I could find from a 1 hour google search of Nazi support among Latin Americans in as many Latin American countries that I could include.
And, for those who want it, here's a Table of Contents below to help you navigate this article given its length.
Are There Nazis in Mexico?
Going back to what I was just saying, there was some "Nazi wedding" held in Mexico that you can read about here and here's a video of it.
In response to the event, you had some Jewish organization denounce it as you can see here.
And speaking of weddings with Nazi imagery, here is a wedding of a Senator known as Alvarez Lima that also had Nazi symbols as you can read here.
Next, we have some Cathedral known as the Catedral de Tampico that apparently had all sorts of Nazi symbols inside it as you can read here.
Finally, there's a story here of Volkswagen ending its relationship with a local distributor due to outrage on the internet after a photo from the distributor went public showing Nazi imagery.
As far as Mexico is concerned, that is all I could find in a few minutes so let's move on.
Are There Nazis in Colombia?
The more well known example of Nazis in Colombia that is very recent was a case involving members of a police school in the municipality of Tulua within Valle del Cauca were photographed with Nazi symbols as you can read here.
In the same link above, the Colombian President, Ivan Duque, denounced the incident.
You also had the Director of the "Simon Bolivar" police school removed from his position.
As usual, the Embassies of Germany and Israel denounced it.
Here's another article on the topic and a video on the topic below.
Next, we have this well known example of Neo-Nazis making their appearance in Bogota of Colombia not too long ago.
These Neo-Nazis call themselves the "La Tercera Fuerza" or "The Third Force."
They march through the streets in Nazi uniforms and symbols and dyed blonde hair (blue eye contacts also? The article cited doesn't clarify ....).
Apparently this group is militant and has tendencies to be violent around the country.
And the Colombian Parliament under a previous President known as Juan Manuel Santos had passed a law in response to them that will punish those who discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, ideology, sex or sexual orientation.
Are There Nazis in Brazil?
In the last article cited about Neo-Nazis in Colombia, it also claimed that there was someone who got murdered in Brazil at the hands of a Neo-Nazi also as you can read here.
"El fenómeno de los nazis criollos no sólo preocupa en Colombia, sino también en Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina y Brasil. En Brasil, hace pocos días, un joven murió como consecuencia de un ataque de neonazis. Sergio Widder, director de la filial sudamericana del Centro Simón Wiesenthal, en Buenos Aires, observa hace tiempo los excesos de los grupos neonazis."
Outside of that, are there any other examples to consider?
Well, to be fair, I don't read Portuguese very well as of this writing so I had to use Google Translate to help me understand the articles I found.
First, we have this image here taken from a helicopter as shown in this article written in Spanish about a Nazi symbol in some random person's pool of Santa Cantarina of Brazil.
Apparently the police looked into sanctioning the dude but couldn't because it was on his private property.
Second, from what I understand of this article, you apparently had some law passed in Brazil in 1989 punishing those using Nazi symbols or making Nazi propaganda.
The law is called "the Racism Law" (nº 7.716/89).
The law originally did not mention Nazism but that was included in changes in 1994 and 1997.
Basically, if you are ever accused of "apologizing" as I understand it or, in real terms, denying that the Holocaust happened, you could get into trouble.
You then had a dude known as Bruno Aib (also known as Monark) who was running something called "The Flow Podcast" that also defended the legality of the Brazilian Nazi Party. He defended it with a federal deputy named Kim Kataguiri.
An investigation was then done on Monark and he lost his broadcast while Kim Kataguiri had to face a process in the Ethics Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and was also investigated.
Around the same time, as you can read here, a man named Adrilles Jorge made a Nazi salute on the Jovem Pan Program and was fired afterwards and was also investigated.
Also, you had a case that challenged the legality of it to the Supreme Court in 2003 known as the Ellwanger Case where a writer known as Siegfried Ellwanger Castan published a bunch of works denying the Holocaust.
They decided that the Brazilian Constitution does not protect what they consider hate speech or apologies to Nazism.
Still, as we saw with the Nazi sign in the pool example, the law obviously doesn't say it is illegal to be a Nazi or racist. So it is a little bit murky what could be illegal or not but this article here explains it better for those who speak Portuguese.
Anyway, from what you can read here, apparently the number of those violating such law has spiked in the last few years.
Third, as you can see here, there was a teenager that was banned from a shopping center in Caruaru after having a swastika on his arm.
Afterwards, the Secretary of Tourism of Maceió, Ricardo Santa Ritta, was fired after expressing support for "the freedom of expression" in light of the incident.
You also have a NGO called Safernet in Brazil that removed 7,800 pages online with Nazi content in June 2020. It forwards any complaints to the Public Ministry and apparently there has been a explosion of complaints since 2019. As you can read here, apparently Brazil is #7 in the world for online Neo-Nazi content.
The first article cited also cites that about 530 Neo-Nazi cells exist in Brazil.
According to this source here, apparently about 10,000 people are in such cells and the number has been increasing 270.6% over the last few years and a lot of them are in the south of Brazil but a lot of them are around the country.
At any rate, the article cited many other examples of Nazism in Brazil.
Be it the case of a 21 year old dude who was arrested for posting posts on the internet about gays, Jews and others or how a judge in July of 2021 ordered the seizure of a painting with Nazi symbols that was set to be sold online.
Fourth, when discussing Nazism in Brazil, A LOT of the articles focus on Bolsonaro and linking him to it such as what you can see here where he compares Nazism to communism but still gets hear for it.
Or this article here that also links him to Nazism or "tropical Nazism" as they call it.
There's also this article here that argues the same thing.
Despite what you think about him, there are incidents though where people in his government have done sketchy shit.
For example, the same article from before also criticizes how Brazilian President, Bolsonaro, was photographed with the granddaughter of a Nazi minister, Beatrix Von Storch, outside of the Planalto Palace.
More on that incident here also.
You also have the Presidential advisor, Filipe Martins, that was recorded using a "sign of hatred" with his fingers. The House Plenary tried to punish him.
Next, you have the National Secretary of Culture, Roberto Alvim, releasing a video of himself where he copied speeches of Joseph Goebbels and used one of Hitler's songs as a soundtrack. He was fired by Bolsonaro.
Fifth, you had some incident that went viral in Brazil involving a person named Carlos Picon that you can read about here.
Basically, the logo of the marble company that Carlos Picon owns is claimed to have a swastika and the number 88.
Are There Nazis in the Dominican Republic?
There was only one example I could find of supposedly some very minor support in the Dominican Republic.
According to this thread here, someone apparently saw Nazi signs in Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic.
Here's the statement:
"Saw some today while walking from malecon towards distrito nacional. They we're painted on the walls of the fort."
According to the same thread, apparently there's some famous dude in the DR named "Pirin" who got deported from the US, supposedly believes in conspiracy theories and always is spray painting random shit.
Here's another video on Pirin also.
Are There Nazis in Costa Rica?
When it comes to Nazism in Costa Rica, the main and one of the few examples I could find online involved protesters against Nicaraguan migrants in the country.
Basically, you had hundreds of Costa Ricans protest against Nicaraguan migrants while also using Nazi symbols and flags at the La Merced park in the capital, San Jose.
In Costa Rica, as one of the articles states, has had 23,000 Nicaraguan asking for refugee status (even if many don't qualify).
For another article on the incident, check it out here.
Are There Nazis in Argentina?
There's a few quick examples I found online.
First, we have this article here that shows pictures of Nazi symbols and sayings put on the walls in public.
Second, we have an Argentine dude named Alejandro Biondini that is often described as a Neo-Nazi as you can read here and here's a video of him.
Third, we have an organization in Argentina called INADI that denounced anti-Semitic pamphlets and promoting Nazism in the Argentine city of Viedma as you can read here.
The pamphlets had phrases of Adolf Hitler and other anti-Semitic expressions.
They were denounced by INADI and the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA).
And a complaint was made against the pamphlets for violating Article 3 of Law 23,592 so that an investigation can be made.
Are There Nazis in Chile?
Next, we have a protest in Santiago, Chile where some Nazi expressions were seen as you can read here.
The protest was apparently against having a new constitution in Chile and 100 people at the protest gave the Nazi salute and shouted anti-Jewish slogans.
Some of them also had banners with Nazi symbols.
Right away, organizations started denouncing the act.
You had denunciations by a human rights organization known as the INDH, the Jewish Community of Chile, local politicians and Israel's Ambassador to Chile.
Are There Nazis in Uruguay?
Next, we have Uruguay.
To be fair, there isn't much information about Nazism in Uruguay but, for those who like history, there are some cool articles like here or here about an old bronze bird that has a Nazi swastika on it left behind from Battle of the Rio de la Plata between the UK and Germany on December 13, 1939.
Outside of that, I did find an interesting article on Uruguayan Neo-Nazis as you can see here.
Right away, the article says some random 20 year old was jailed in Uruguay for hate speech.
Apparently, he was from Salta area of Uruguay and posted this on Facebook.
"¡Los llamamos a todos los extremistas del Uruguay, la guerra es ahora o nunca! Muerte a los judíos, homosexuales y negros. Se declara hoy 11/2/2016 la guerra social y cívica uruguaya. Somos más de 500 soldados dispuestos a atacar y formar nuestra legión."
This dude was also apparently of some group called "Extrema derecha uruguaya" that supposedly has more than 500 members but the front page of the blog says it has 48 members.
The welcoming message of the site says it's members are the following:
"Creyente cristiano católico, ultramontano, radical, fundamentalista, carlista, franquista, bien nacionalista, bien patriota, falangista, pinochetista, etcétera. ¡Siéntase como en casa para comentar tranquilo!".
And, similar to Brazil, this type of messaging online can lead to legal trouble and can be considered illegal in Uruguay also from my understanding of the article.
His imprisonment has caused concern among Neo-Nazis in Uruguay to not meet face to face as much.
It describes the Neo-Nazis as generally being young, not having graduated university and claim to have had bad experiences with Jewish people.
Then it says that there is a man named Carlos Kierszenbaum who has investigated these groups and used to be the director of the Jewish institution Bnai Brith.
He describes these folks as having their movement dismantled with their leaders often imprisoned and often associating with the Partido Nacional of Uruguay also.
He says a lot of them live in the interior of the region and some engage in graffiti or whatever else to express their ideas.
Then the article gives an example describing an incident that went viral in Uruguay where some business called "Kamuflados al Kombate" of the Galería Central area of Uruguay had gotten into trouble for selling Nazi items on July 18, 2016.
The owner denied that there was any Nazi apologist activity involved and that he was simply selling historical items.
The article also discusses a blog online for National Socialism in Uruguay with some quotes here.
"El blog Partido Nacionalsocialista del Uruguay, por ejemplo, es un espacio de discusión actualizado —una de las últimas publicaciones en su foro es de este año— sobre la posible formación de un partido político, así como de la realización de una revista.
"El proyecto surgió de algunos jóvenes nacionalsocialistas y fascistas que, al no tener un partido político propio, sus voces quedan prácticamente perdidas en la nada", dice una publicación donde se anuncia que el sitio pretende sondear las opiniones de los cibernautas para reunir a 500 personas mayores de edad dispuestas a agruparse políticamente.
El sitio tiene apenas 38 miembros y varios de ellos están identificados con nombre, apellido, foto y perfil público. Otros restringen el acceso a sus cuentas o utilizan nombres falsos, pero si se buscan los grupos de los que son parte estos usuarios, muchas veces se repiten. Kierszenbaum cree que algunos de ellos son la misma persona con distintas cuentas."
At any rate, the investigation by this dude led him to believe that many of the members were looking for something bigger than themselves, a purpose, etc.
Finally, the article describes various Neo-Nazi related incidents in what I assume was Uruguay.
For example, it describes a moment where a woman named Soledad Barret was put in a car and attacked by individuals who engraved swastikas on her thigh in the 1960s.
It also describes an incident where a man named Hector Paladino murdered a man named Simon Lasowski and a Channel 4 employee known as Delfino Sicco in 1987 because he considered them "promoters of Judaism."
Finally, in February of 2005, three Neo-Nazis attacked the single of the band Split 7.
Are There Nazis in Paraguay?
There is supposedly some fair called "Feria Alemana" or "German Fair" that is held in the Paraguayan city of San Bernadino.
At any rate, supposedly these Nazi artifacts were not commonly sold at the fair and is a recent incident according to the Hebrew Union of Paraguay, Humberto Ismajovich, with this quote here:
“Realmente yo suelo ir varias veces de paseo durante el año y jamás vi este tipo de cosas; por eso tome cartas en el asunto, y comencé a hacer mucho ruido en las redes sociales, envié un nota a la Embajada de Alemania en Paraguay; a la Feria y al Intendente de la zona”.
After contacting the German Embassy in Paraguay, the dude then claimed that no politicians want to handle the issue in Paraguay because it'll cost them votes in later comments.
Second, we have a protest in Asuncion of Paraguay on September 26, 2016 where a Nazi flag with PNS written on it was seen as you can see here.
For those who don't know, the PNS is the Paraguay Nacional Socialista or the Paraguayan National Socialist Party basically.
The photo at the top of this article is actually their flag.
Here is a quote from their charter according to this:
“En el Nacionalsocialismo se elimina la democracia como institución. Pero la democracia representativa (Que el pueblo elija a quienes los gobiernan a través del voto) y la burocracia. Se establece la ‘democracia directa’ para la aprobación de leyes, acciones, etc. y se hacen plebiscitos a diario para saber la opinión del pueblo sobre diversos temas”.
Next, we have more on this group in this article here.
Apparently there was some video that went viral of their 95 members that calls for the elimination of democratic society in Paraguay.
Here are some key quotes from the article:
"En dicha red, la “exótica” agrupación (la mayoría de sus integrantes son de tez morena, antítesis de la “pureza aria”) anuncia una reunión de camaradería a realizarse el 1 de octubre, en el barrio San Vicente."
" Respecto a los medios de comunicación masiva, remarcan: “Mantente al margen de la propaganda burguesa y democrática. Las revistas, el cine, la TV, están impregnadas de escepticismo y materialismo. Lee y difunde la prensa Nacionalscocialista”.
Victor Hugo Samudio Saldivar, Wilson Cañete y David Marcelo Farina López, figuran como los administradores del grupo cerrado de Facebook que conforman la célula inicial de Paraguay Nacional Socialista."
Are There Nazis in Peru?
Basically, you have this guy who said something controversial and works in the administration of Peruvian President, Pedro Castillo.
The dude's name was Anibal Torres and he said that Hitler was a role model with the highway construction program that Nazi Germany had.
Here's the exact quote from what I could find:
""Les pongo un ejemplo: Italia y Alemania eran igual que nosotros. Pero en una oportunidad, Adolfo Hitler visita el norte de Italia y [Benito] Mussolini le muestra una autopista construida desde Milán a Brescia", dijo Torres, mano derecha del presidente izquierdista Pedro Castillo."
"Hitler vio eso, fue a su país y lo llenó de autopistas y aeropuertos y convirtió a Alemania en la primera potencia económica del mundo", agregó Torres durante una sesión pública del gabinete este jueves en la ciudad andina de Huancayo, a la que se sumó Castillo después."
After his comments, you had people denouncing what he said, including opposition, in Peru, politicians and the German Embassy and Israeli in Lima.
And apparently he has made comparisons to Hitler before like when discussing Alberto Fujimori.
Here's another quote from him from one of the articles above.
"No es la primera vez que Torres, abogado de 79 años, menciona a Hitler, pues en marzo comparó al encarcelado expresidente Alberto Fujimori con el jefe nazi, al afirmar que "a nadie se le juzga por sus buenas obras, se le juzga por las malas obras."
Are There Nazis in Ecuador?
From what I understand from this article here, apparently there was an incident where some folks had some Nazi imagery on their arms.
Basically, you have this Director of the Quito Provisional Detention Center and the Head of Security who were seen with the Nazi imagery in question.
And, if I understand it right, you have some public attorneys in trouble also for the same thing when they walked into a prison called El Inca.
At any rate, a sanction was applied by the Ministry of Justice.
Are There Nazis in Cuba?
In Cuba, there's been just a few sightings of Nazi symbols in the country that I could find out about online.
First, you have this story here of some Nazi symbols being put on the wall by a Che Guevara image in the Cuban city of Holguin.
Here's some key quotes here:
"Dos símbolos nazis fueron marcados en una imagen del Che Guevara que está pintada en una tapia levantada en la céntrica calle Máximo Gómez entre Aricochea y Cables, en la ciudad de Holguín.
Los vecinos del lugar mostraron preocupación cuando vieron una esvástica en el lado izquierdo bajo de la imagen del guerrillero argentino, mientras en el lado derecho aparecían las letras SS, otro símbolo de la Alemania nazi."
The article also says later on that it's not the first time this has happened in the city and that, if I'm understanding it right, it is suspected that the person put the Nazi symbols over the Che Guevara image as a way to demonstrate the similarities in political repression between Hitler (socialism) and the Castro brothers (communism).
But that seems to be just one interpretation as to why the Nazi symbols were put over the Che Guevara image.
Second, we have this incident here that happened in Havana.
Basically, you have a random bus somewhere in Havana where somebody drew Nazi symbols and the Nazi phrase "sieg heil" on the bus that was on route 9-16.
It also has the number 88.
The rest of the article is basically having a journalist who saw the image tell us how bad Nazis were.
So what is to make from all of this?
To be honest, I'm not an expert on "Latin American Neo-Nazism."
Similar to my sister, I do find the idea a tiny bit weird and I'll be the first to admit that I don't entirely understand it all.
There is a part of you that does wonder how many of these folks are just the Latin American versions of Uncle Ruckus.
Still, there's some ideas that come to mind.
First, obviously some of these folks are just young kids trying to be edgy. Nothing more.
Second, similar to the US, you have some young folks who feel marganilzed socioeconomically.
For that reason, you'll have some who will lean towards more extreme ideas like in any other part of the world (while not always understanding said ideas).
Third, it should be said that some parts of Latin America are much whiter than others.
In US politics, all Latinos are painted as non-white. The meme below pokes at this a little bit here.
Still, you got plenty of white Latin Americans who are not necessrily self-hating and promote this type of ideology and they actually are white.
Fourth, yeah you got some self-hating folks too like in that funny quote about non-white Paraguayans joining the National Socialism Party of Paragauy.
Of course, in the photo they showed in the article cited, plenty did look white and I do think sometimes the Latin American description of someone as "mixed race" or "mestizo" or "morena" is not always accurate to the individual.
In real life, sometimes you meet locals who call themselves mestizo or morena when they have white as clear skin and sometimes you meet Latin Americans who overemphasize how white their skin is (and some of them might end up being very far to the right).
The brown Latino who is not as dark skinned as the next one and wants to feel superior based on that alone.
Fifth, in some very specific cases, I could see some few Latin Americans who have heritage to white supremacists carrying on the beliefs of their parents or grandparents that immigrated to Latin America from wherever (like Germany for example).
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
Mostly just wanted to put some light on this "Latin Americna Neo-Nazi" concept.
If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.
PS: The header photo used in the top of the article does not belong to me. I did not take it nor do I own it. It was not edited or changed in anyway. It came from this source here.