Far-Right Hate and Extremist Groups

Brazil

Editor’s Note: GPAHE’s country reports describe active far-right extremist and hate groups (including political parties that meet our criteria) to highlight the growing global threat of far-right extremism and the transnational nature of this movement. You can read more about how we classify far-right extremist groups and the purpose of these reports.

Brazil has a long history of far-right politics and movements that have been fueled by horrific racism towards its Black and Indigenous populations. It enslaved millions of Africans during its centuries of Portuguese colonization, exploiting them to build a wealthy plantation class. Out of the 12 million Africans who were kidnapped and taken to the Americas, approximately half were forcibly relocated to Brazil between 1540 and the 1860s. Shamefully, Brazil was also the last nation in the Western world to officially abolish slavery in 1888, long after gaining independence from Portugal in 1822. Many American Southerners moved to Brazil after the Civil War. Called confederados (confederates), they wanted to continue their slave-holding way of life, with some communities to this day celebrating the past with confederate battle flags and other emblems associated with America’s pre-Civil War southern states. The inhumane treatment and forced labor of enslaved Africans is fundamental to Brazil’s history, and much like the U.S., its ongoing struggle with systemic racism.

Starting in the early 20th century, large fascist movements arose in Brazil, inspired by the Nazis in Germany, but even more so by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party in Italy. After WWII, the country suffered decades of violent military rule and authoritarianism. The legacy of this politics continues to negatively impact the lives of many Brazilians and fuels far-right movements’ nostalgia for this past. The election of Jair Bolsonaro as president in 2018 further spurred the growth of extremism in the country, pouring fuel on smoldering neo-Nazi, white separatist, and fascist movements, particularly in the South of the country.

Fascism came to Brazil in the 1920s, first with the creation in 1922 of the Legião do Cruzeiro do Sul (Legion of the Southern Cross). In the mid-1920s, fascist ideology began to infiltrate the Italian immigrant and expat community through “March on Rome” veteran Serafino Mazzolini, the Italian consul to Brazil. Fascio di São Paulo (São Paulo Fascists) was formed in March 1923, approximately six months after fascists took power in Italy, with Italians in São Paulo signing up enthusiastically as the movement spread quickly to other cities’ Italian communities. A decade later, more fascist entities arose, including the Legião de Outubro (October Legion), the Partido Nacional Sindicalista (National Syndicalist Party), the Partido Fascista Nacional (National Fascist Party), the Partido Nacional Regenerador (National Regenerative Party) and others. These movements were propelled by the large immigrant population from Italy and the much smaller one from Germany that arrived in Southern Brazil in the late 1800s, with larger waves in the early 1900s. 

There was also a Nazi movement in Brazil, but it was not as large as these fascist movements, and much more short-lived. Long before WWII, the Nazi party flooded Brazil with political propaganda to build up support in the German community. The Brazilian branch of the Nazi Party was founded in 1928. By 1939, only about 3,000 German expats in Brazil had joined the party, but that still made it the largest overseas branch. Because the party only accepted German citizens, who had to have been born in Germany, those who may have been attracted to it but did not have this “pedigree” instead joined other fascist movements and related far-right political entities. 

Fascism Brazil-Style: Integralism
Brazil spawned its own form of fascism, Brazilian Integralism, which shared a heritage with both Italian fascism and the Portuguese fascist movement, Integralismo Lusitano. It was founded in 1932 by Plínio Salgado, a writer and politician who became enamored with Mussolini after a trip to Italy in 1930, where he met him in person. After his return to Brazil, Salgado set out to create a party like that of the Italian Fascists. In 1932, he established the Ação Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Action, AIB), adopting many fascist ideas, and creating a movement that was highly militarized and strongly anti-communist. But it was less linked to the Nazis as Salgado was against racism, at least in its crudest forms, and given the diversity of Brazil, his movement hoped to unite all Brazilians into its fascist conception.  

Like other fascist movements, Integralists were organized into uniformed ranks clothed in green shirts, held highly regimented street demonstrations, and spewed rhetoric against Marxism and liberalism. Members sported the movement’s symbol, the Greek letter Sigma, and engaged in strong armed salutes very similar to those of the Nazis. In Brazil, the salute is given with the term “Anauê,” which loosely means “you are my brother” and is believed to be Tupi, the language of the largest indigenous grouping in Brazil before colonization.

Brazil’s Integralism was decidedly more religious in spirit, akin to Portuguese Integralism, rather than Italian fascism. Salgado interpreted human history as a conflict between “materialism,” represented by atheism and hedonism, and “spiritualism,” by which he meant belief in God and pursuing higher goals preached in Catholicism, such as mercy, charity, and concern for others. To supersede materialism and its partner capitalism, Salgado pushed a corporate state and nationalism as a shared spiritual identity that would bind the Brazilian nation through Christianity. Though theoretically critical of capitalism, communists were the movement’s real bogeymen. By 1936, it was estimated that there were almost one million Integralist supporters and sympathizers, making it the largest mass movement in Brazilian history. 

Salgado encapsulated the movement’s ideas in the 1932 October Manifesto, the handbook of AIB, the most important Integralist political organization, which emphasized God, the Homeland, and the Family, later used as Jair Bolsonaro’s slogan in his runs for the presidency. Against racism and antisemitism, Salgado, who differed on antisemitism with other prominent Integralists, saw Integralism as a means to unite people of all races, through an authoritarian structure, hence the movement’s slogan, “Union of all races and all peoples.” This still placed Black people at the bottom of Brazil’s population, but unlike similar European movements, they were at least considered a part of society. AIB was known for its aggressive rhetoric and paramilitary tactics, and its members engaged in violent clashes with left-wing groups, attacking communists, foreigners, and Masons, who were seen as enemies of the Church. Certain church officials, some involved in AIB, were responsible for spreading rabid antisemitism in the 1930s, and Jews were barred from immigrating to Brazil.

At its peak, AIB claimed as many as 200,000 members. Though Salgado claimed to be against racism and antisemitism, some of his prominent allies in the movement, such as Gustavo Barroso, were openly bigoted. Barroso was perhaps the second most powerful person behind Salgado and a rabid antisemite. He produced the first Portuguese translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a key antisemitic conspiracy theory, and authored his own antisemitic works including Freemasonry and Communism. 

The New State
The Estado Novo (New State, 1937-1946), led by dictator Getúlio Vargas, put an end to these organizations after Vargas took power in 1937 through a coup. Vargas’ regime borrowed from fascism without fully endorsing it, and ultimately crushed fascist organizations and other similar mass movements, seeing them as a threat to his regime, arguing they were “conspiring against the Brazilian State” by taking their marching orders from Italy’s fascist government. The Brazilian branch of the Nazi Party was also abolished. After the Brazilian declaration of war against the Axis powers in 1942, Italian institutions often had to change their names to distance themselves from Mussolini’s regime. Vargas was so intent on building a unified Brazilian identity that he forced German, Italian and Japanese communities to “Brazilianize,” essentially assimilate and abandon their homeland’s customs and languages. Even so, some prominent Nazis, including Joseph Mengele, who performed brutal, grotesque medical experiments on those sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, fled Germany after the war for Brazil, hiding out in German-speaking communities.

When the Vargas dictatorship ended, Salgado founded the Partido de Representação Popular (Party of Popular Representation, PRP), which maintained the ideology of Integralism, but without its paramilitary aspects. Some former members tied to the movement participated in the 1964 military coup that overthrew President João Goulart. From 1965-1985, Brazil was ruled by a series of brutal military dictatorships, and Integralists and former Integralists took a range of positions within the various ruling military regimes. Salgado, for example, joined ARENA, the pro-military party. In 1988, a new constitution was passed, and Brazil officially returned to democratic rule with the 1989 presidential election. This era to the present day is known as the Sixth Brazilian Republic or the New Republic.

Rise of Bolsonaro
During the years of democratic rule until the rise of Jair Bolsonaro, first elected as president in 2018, politics in Brazil centered around economic crises and allegations of corruption against multiple presidential administrations and the political class. The far right as a movement was not top of mind until Bolsonaro built his presidential campaign by adopting and spreading typical far-right messages, which predominantly demonized marginalized communities, specifically LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous people. Infamous for inflammatory remarks about women and minorities that earned him the tagline “Trump of the Tropics,” Bolsonaro, a former army captain, openly cherished the 21-year military dictatorship that started with a coup in 1964. Bolsonaro also took advantage of the corruption charges of prior administrations and the failure to rein in crime to build his movement. 

Bolsonaro differed from other far-right leaders like Trump due to particular Brazilian circumstances, including its racially diverse population and the fact that immigration is not a significant issue. He also found considerable support among far-right evangelicals, a movement developed by American evangelical missionaries who imported their Christian Nationalism into Brazil and are today tightly networked with evangelicals there. Evangelicals will soon surpass Catholics as the majority religion in Brazil, but they share some values with conservative Catholic movements, both being generally against LGBTQ+ rights. Bolsonaro emphasized “national solidarity” pitting “good people” against the “corrupt.” 

Among his many controversial statements, Bolsonaro has said, “the only reason he didn’t rape” a congresswoman was “because she didn’t deserve it” being that “she was too ugly;” advocated that former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso should be “shot in a public square;” called Black activists “animals” that should “go back to the zoo;” argued that homosexuality is due to “not enough beatings;” and that he “didn’t have to worry” about any of his children dating Black women or being gay “because he gave them a proper education.” He has called Haitian, African, and Middle Eastern refugees in Brazil “the scum of humanity” who should be dealt with “by the army.” He praised army torturers and said that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s mistake was not killing enough people. And that if ​​he saw “two guys holding hands” in the street, he would “beat them up.” In another anti-LGBTQ+ tirade, Bolsonaro said that homosexuals “should bow down” before the majority and that “90% of the kids adopted by LGBT couples” would be used as sex slaves, which meant the legalization of same-sex marriages “would legalize child abuse.”

In 2017, Bolsonaro gave a speech before some 500 people, claiming that Indigenous people  living on reservations were “parasites,” that quilombolas (Black descendants of runaway slaves) “weren’t even fit for breeding,” that civil society organizations and social movements were stealing the country’s resources, and that the only way to fight crime was handing out guns to the population. Not long after this speech, in a YouTube video, he again claimed that Indigenous people and quilombolas were draining national resources. He also argued that Funai (the National Indigenous Foundation) deliberately chose the “richest and most fertile” lands to “give away” to “Indians and Blacks,” while stealing land from whites who had been “living there for centuries.” According to Bolsonaro, since Brazil is “a Christian country,” non-Christians should stay out of political life as they are not “true citizens,” and Islam and African religions should be banned, as they are antithetical to the “national faith” and operate as an “open door to terrorists.” He singled out as internal enemies the LGBTQ+ community, Indigenous peoples, environmental and human-rights activists, the media, academics, and the cultural elite. Bolsonaro emphasized God, country, and family, using the old Integralist slogan, and built support among the country’s booming evangelical churches. Much like America’s Christian Nationalists, Bolsonaro claimed the country was under threat from gay marriage, abortion, and “gender ideology.”

Bolsonaro also raised a veritable army of online supporters who took to social media to praise the president with hashtags like #UnitedForBolsonaro. The so-called “Gabinete de Odio” (Hate Cabinet) was the name given to a group of Bolsonaro advisors who operated within the Palácio do Planalto, the country’s executive branch headquarters. Coordinated by the former president himself and by his son, Carlos, the cabinet directed online mobs that would swarm Bolsonaro’s opponents with memes, hate speech, and misleading or false information. They echoed the president’s rhetoric and lies, inflating his support, and launching a firestorm of attacks on those who opposed him. The effort started before Bolsonaro’s 2018 electoral victory and ran through his failed 2022 campaign.

Bolsonaro Bolstered the Far Right
All of this activity revitalized the far right in Brazil, who flaunted their extremism more openly and expanded their ranks. Neo-Nazi groups flourished, with Brazilian academic Adriana Dias claiming that in 2021 the number of neo-Nazi cells in Brazil had increased by almost 60 percent under Bolsonaro’s government, citing some 530 cells across the country, most in the states of São Paulo and Santa Catarina. Some of these neo-Nazi groupings have engaged in violence, attacking members of the LGBTQ+ community, Jews, and synagogues in São Paulo and Santa Catarina. Bolosonaro’s opponents received threats. Neo-Nazi flags were waved at Bolsonaro marches and supporters used strong arm salutes. Bolsonaro also drew on support from modern Integralist organizations, including the Frente Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Front, FIB) and the Movimento Integralista e Linearista Brasileiro (Brazilian Integralist and Linearist Movement, MIL-B), and appointed some of their members to his administration. 

Bolsonaro and members of his administration also directly played to these extremist groups. In 2018, Bolsonaro’s campaign chose as a slogan “Brazil Above Everything, God Above All.” The first part of the motto was used by a group of paratroopers, Spark Nativista (Nativist Spark), and mimics the Nazi slogan “Deutschland über Alles.” In January 2020, then secretary of culture, Roberto Alvim, repeated excerpts from a speech by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Surprisingly, he was forced to step down. In 2021, Felipe Martins, secretary of international affairs, made the “OK” hand sign, popular among white supremacists, at an event in the Federal Senate. Despite being investigated, Martins was acquitted of the accusation. Bolsonaro, after a state visit to Israel, claimed that Nazis were leftists and “we can forgive, but not forget” the Holocaust, a sentiment heavily criticized by Brazilian Jews and Israeli officials. 

Playing footsie with extremist elements has long been a Bolsonaro tactic. A letter from Bolsonaro when he was a federal deputy in 2004 was featured on three neo-Nazi websites that linked back to his webpage. The letter was in the possession of neo-Nazi Donato di Mauro, who was sentenced in 2016 in Minas Gerais to more than eight years in prison for apologizing for Nazism and corruption of minors. While still a deputy, Bolsonaro defended students at a military academy in Porto Alegre who chose Hitler as the historical figure they most admired.

Bolsonaro also built relationships with far-right individuals and groups abroad. He was close to Trump and figures in Trump’s inner circle, including his children. In 2021, Bolsonaro welcomed to Brazil the German parliamentarian Beatrix von Storch, former vice president of the rabidly anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, AfD) political party and niece of the Third Reich’s finance minister. Bolsonaro and his family also appeared more than once at the American far-right group CPAC’s conferences, speaking alongside Trump acolytes at events that often bashed the LGBTQ+ community. CPAC established a Brazilian chapter that is currently run by a group led by Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo.

Brazil’s January 8 Insurrection
Bolsonaro followed in Trump’s election-denying footsteps after his 2022 presidential election loss to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He claimed that voting machines were “rigged” and his election denialism spread like wildfire online, with conspiracy theories questioning the results and alleging wrongdoing. This mobilized Bolsonaro supporters who gathered in a series of makeshift camps throughout the country, many in front of military bases. They demanded the army step in to address the alleged electoral fraud and put Bolsonaro back in power.

This led to Brazil having its own attempted insurrection on January 8, 2023, much like what happened in the U.S. on January 6, 2021. Two days after Americans had marked the two-year anniversary of the horror of the Capital Insurrection, in the capital city Brasília, Bolsonaro supporters ransacked the Congress, the presidential palace, and the Supreme Court. They hoped to trigger a military intervention by tapping into pro-Bolsonaro sentiment in the armed forces but were arrested instead. Though Bolsonaro eventually condemned the actions in Brasília, protesters continued issuing calls to stay mobilized, announcing general strikes and attempts to shut down refineries and gasoline stations. Ultimately these things failed to occur as hundreds were arrested, including the former justice minister, though at least 12 transmission towers were attacked, and several toppled.

In March 2023, Bolsonaro, who never conceded defeat, returned from self-imposed exile in Florida, where he fled after the election. He attended the March 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., where he questioned the results of his failed campaign for reelection and said his mission in Brazil was “still not over.” In May 2023, his home was raided and some of his aides were arrested related to forging vaccine records (Bolsonaro was a COVID denier). He is also being investigated for alleged voter suppression, his attacks on the legitimacy of Brazilian elections, and embezzlement of foreign gifts. Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing in those cases. In June 2023, Bolsonaro was banned from political office for eight years after the country’s electoral court ruled he had abused his presidential powers. He is currently under investigation by the federal police for leading a failed coup to remain in power after his loss and was forced to surrender his passport in February 2023.

The Far Right Today
Much like in the U.S. with Trump, the growth of the far right in Brazil paralleled Bolsonaro’s rise. Researcher Adriana Dias estimated that in 2019 there were just over 300 neo-Nazi cells, mostly online, and by 2022 there were more than 530. She estimated about 150,000 neo-Nazis in Brazil, most in the Southern states of Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. These groups are particularly hard to track in Brazil as they are often isolated and small, with maybe 10 to 15 members, and not connected to other groups. Many operate online, sharing propaganda and recruiting young people.

Brazil’s 1989 racism law punishes the use of symbols linked to Nazism and speech considered to excuse the Nazi regime. The law provides a penalty of two to five years in prison for those who manufacture, market, distribute or convey symbols, emblems, ornaments, badges, or advertising that use the swastika to propagandize for Nazism. The number of federal police inquiries into defending Nazism jumped to 110 in 2020, after remaining below 22 each year from 2010 to 2018. In June 2023, the federal police said the number of investigations opened into alleged incitement of neo-Nazism had a “significant increase.” The police force said 21 probes into the alleged manufacture, sale, distribution or brandishing of swastikas “for the purpose of propagating Nazism” had been opened in just the first six months of 2023. 

Police figures also showed a 380 percent surge in the number of “antidemocratic acts,” jumping from 68 in 2022 to 326 in just the first two months of 2023. The bulk of these cases — which include attempts to impede elections or incite violence against the state — were in the South, notably Santa Catarina. There are other signs of far-right activism being on the increase. Safernet Brasil, which reports on internet postings in support of Nazism, has seen a rise in such material in recent years. In 2015, they reported 1,282 such cases, which rose to 9,004 in 2020, a jump of 600 percent. 2020 saw the largest number of pages removed from the internet because of illegal content linked to defending the Nazis. There were 1,659 websites deplatformed that year, compared to 329 in 2015.

Violence has followed the movement’s growth and threats against marginalized communities have been on the rise. In 2021, through the joint action of American and Brazilian authorities, four members of a neo-Nazi group were arrested in Brazil for plans to launch several mass casualty attacks on Jewish and Black people on New Year’s Eve. At the end of 2022 in Florianópolis, in the state of Santa Catarina, the police arrested ten men accused of being members of the Hammerskins and its feeder organization Crew 38, a racist skinhead and neo-Nazi group originating from Texas, which according to local authorities arrived in Brazil thanks to the help of some its U.S. members. In November 2022, just hours before an event held by Haitian immigrants in Itajai, Santa Catarina, the organizer received an email reading, “Cancel the Haiti exhibition or we will commit a massacre…Santa Catarina is a land of WHITE PEOPLE, FOR WHITE PEOPLE.” The email ended with the Nazi salute “SIEG HEIL.” 

ABIN, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, warned at the end of 2022 that neo-Nazis, white supremacists and movements to delegitimize democratic rule were the main threats facing Lula’s inauguration. The agency said it had identified a growth in the activities of “ideologically motivated extremist and violent individuals and groups” after Bolsonaro’s loss. The agency said that although street protests calmed down after the insurrection attempt in Brasília, there had still been violent acts committed by far-right actors, including attempts to invade a public building and a bomb attack in Brasília. On social media, individuals were sharing bomb-making material and instructions on how to create firearms with 3D printers as well as spreading conspiracy theories and making threats against public officials.

Particularly disturbing have been attacks in schools. In February 2023, a 17-year-old who was accused of throwing a homemade explosive at a school in São Paulo was wearing a swastika armband. In March 2023, a 13-year-old stabbed and killed a teacher in a school in São Paulo while wearing a skull mask associated with neo-Nazi movements, the same mask worn by a boy accused of having carried out a similar attack in a school in the same city in 2019. In April 2023, a 25-year-old accused of being linked to neo-Nazism killed four children with an ax in a kindergarten in Blumenau, and in October 2023, a 16-year-old boy was accused of firing at a school, killing one and wounding two others. The suspect had previously posted a photo of himself with a swastika drawn on his face.  

The Lula Administration has continued to crack down on violent far-right groups. After the April 2023 ax attack, Justice Minister Flavio Dino instructed authorities to investigate any potential interstate activities of neo-Nazi groups. In July 2023, Brazilian police carried out various operations in four states as part of investigations into 15 people linked to the so-called “new SS of Santa Catarina.” More than a dozen raids were carried out in one week in July 2023 alone, with police seizing “vast [amounts of] Nazi and extremist material,” plus four firearms and dozens of knives and other weapons. Thirteen of the 15 raids were in southern states. The vast police operations follow some attacks which, according to the Brazilian authorities, could be traced back to the growing spread of neo-Nazi movements. And it shouldn’t be forgotten that in 2022, a Brazilian tattooed with a Nazi symbol was arrested for the attempted assassination of Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Many of the ongoing investigations into far-right extremism are concentrated in the South, where most of the population identifies as white. This appears to be the result of Italian and German immigration to the region where, according to academic Marina Macedo Rego, a process of “whitening” happened. She points out that this led to Southerners viewing themselves as “white” in ways that other parts of the country did not, creating an identity opposed to other parts of the country that have more people of color, particularly Northern Brazil. The problem of neo-Nazism is particularly acute in Santa Catarina, a state where many have German and Italian ancestry. The state has the largest proportion of self-identifying white residents in Brazil, at more than 80 percent in the last census.

Meanwhile, Integralism has been revitalized under Bolsonaro, who was a fan and used a slogan connected to Integralism’s early years. At least three major Integralist groups were functioning by 2022, the Brazilian Integralist Front (FIB), the Brazilian Integralist and Linearist Movement (MIL-B) and the Civic and Cultural Association Arcy Lopes Estrella (ACCALE). They are mainly found in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and online. Research has shown the presence of police officers, former police officers, militiamen, and even monarchists in these groups. And at the first “Integralist Conference of the 21st Century” in 2004, that sought to revitalize the movement, major conservative religious organizations were present including the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), the Democratic Nationalist Union and the Democratic Catholic Union. Generally, these integralist groups are anti-LGBTQ+, anti-gender, and anti-trans based on their religious views, and some are grounded in antisemitism.

Integralist-connected individuals and groups have engaged in violence. For example, the short-lived Comando de Insurgência Popular Nacionalista da Grande Família Integralista Brasileira (Popular Nationalist Insurgency Command of the Brazilian Integralist Family, CIPN) claimed responsibility for violent incidents. In December 2018, at least 11 members entered the University of Rio de Janeiro campus and burned three flags belonging to anti-racist organizers. They also claimed responsibility for the attack on the headquarters of the production company Porta dos Fundos. In a video, the group showcased scenes of them throwing Molotov cocktails at Porta and explaining that their motivation for the attack was the Christmas special “A primeira tentação de Cristo” (The First Temptation of Christ), produced by Porta dos Fundos, which depicts Jesus Christ as homosexual. In the video, the group said it was charged with “being the sword of God” and that “Brazil is Christian and will never cease to be.” CIPN first appeared on YouTube. With masked faces, the group displayed Integralist flags and made strong arm fascist salutes while criticizing “militant homosexuals,” “pedophiles,” and “cowardly creatures devoid of love for their neighbor.” 

This report most certainly underestimates the actual number of far-right hate and extremist groups in Brazil. Cities marked with an asterisk indicate an organization’s headquarters where it has more than one chapter.

Brazilian Group Descriptions

Associação Cívica e Cultural Arcy Lopes Estrella (Civic and Cultural Association Arcy Lopes Estrella, ACCALE)

Location: São Gonçalo

Ideology: Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Immigrant, Conspiracy

Founded in 2017, Associação Cívica e Cultural Arcy Lopes Estrella (Civic and Cultural Association Arcy Lopes Estrella, ACCALE) is part of the modern day Integralist movement and has strong ties to other Brazilian Integralist organizations. The group’s name is inspired by Arcy Lopes Estrella, a lifelong Integralist, military officer and lawyer who was a member of the Brazilian Integralist Action (AIB) during his youth, and was closely associated with Plínio Salgado. He helped revitalize Integralism by starting the publication Alerta in 1995. 

The group is headquartered in São Gonçalo, the same place where Lopes Estrella founded the Plínio Salgado Cultural Center in the 1990s. ACCALE is dedicated to disseminating and promoting Integralist teachings. Among Accale’s leaders was Eduardo Fauzi, who was appointed head in 2018, Wagner Barbosa, Emanuel Vilela Barbuy, and Pedro Marcus. Fauzi, a businessman and economist, was also affiliated with the Social Liberal Party (PSL), which was the ticket Jair Bolsonaro ran on in 2018, and at one time head of the Rio de Janeiro chapter of the Brazilian Integralist Front, though the group would later deny the connection. Often called neo-Integralists, ACCALE and its allies defend ultraconservative values and a model of family and society founded on the primacy of the original Integralist motto “God, homeland and family,” which was also used by Jair Bolsonaro in his campaigns. On Facebook, they described themselves as, “We are not left, right, or center. We look for good ideas, wherever they come from. We are not interested in the ways of progressivism or liberalism. Nationalism, the only way!!!” The group is dedicated to the “fight against abortion and the entire cultural left.”

The group is deeply tied to the Bolsonaro movement. During its founding event in October 2017, held at the Niterói City Council, three prominent Bolsonaro-supporting politicians from Rio de Janeiro were present: State Deputy Rodrigo Amorim, then a city councilor, Carlos Jordy, and then state deputy, and Flávio Bolsonaro, one of Jair Bolsonaro’s sons. The event featured a lecture in honor of the 85th anniversary of the launch of the 1932 Integralist Manifesto by Salgado. It was opened by ACCALE member Frederico Pires, who explained the principles and objectives of the association, highlighting that ACCALE would build awareness of Integralist ideas through lectures, meetings, and forums. The president of the Frente Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Front, FIB), Victor Emanuel Vilela Barbuy, spoke of the direct ties between ACCALE’s mission and the 1932 Manifesto, saying that the earlier Integralist movement brought together the “most fascinating group of the country’s intelligence.” 

In addition to spreading the ideas of Integralism, ACCALE also pays homage to past figures of the Brazilian far right. At a 2018 meeting, the group praised notorious antisemite and original Integralist Gustavo Barroso with a speech called, “the creator of the first superhero in the world.” Another lecture was devoted to “the historic meeting between Plínio Salgado and Benito Mussolini.”

The group’s former leader has a checkered past. Fauzi was indicted in the 2019 Molotov cocktail bombing of the Porta dos Fundos video production company in Rio de Janeiro, likely triggered by its release of a Christmas special on Netflix in which Jesus was depicted as gay. He was identified as one of five attackers. At the time, he led ACCALE, though the group would later claim he was no longer affiliated. Days after the attack, Fauzi said in an online video that the production company was “intolerant” and that “whoever speaks ill of the name of Christ preaches against the Brazilian people.” He added, “This is a crime against the homeland. They are criminals, they are marginal, they are bandits.” This wasn’t his first run in with the law. In November 2013, Fauzi assaulted the Secretary of Public Order Alex Costa. He was sentenced in 2019 to four years in prison, but successfully appealed.

Responsibility for the attack was ultimately claimed by the Nationalist Popular Insurgency Command group. In 2018, the Command also destroyed a display of anti-fascist symbols at the University of Rio de Janeiro when the group stole and burned flags at the Law School. On November 25, 2019, Fauzi deflected attention from the Command by arguing on Facebook that those responsible for the theft of the flags were students and a teacher at the university. Fauzi fled to Russia the day before his arrest in the Porta dos Fundos bombing. He was later found by Interpol and extradited in 2020 from Russia. 

ACCALE’s positions are articulated on several social media sites, though in 2021 they claimed to have lost their Facebook accounts, the reason being unclear. Criticizing Europe’s immigration policy in 2019 on Twitter, ACCALE wrote, “What will become of Europe? If there is no change towards paths diametrically opposed to those presented, the continent will only have its history as European. Sad reality.” On Instagram, the group posted an image of Henry Kissinger and George Soros, two prominent Jews, blaming them for a “New World Order.” 

Carecas do ABC (Skinheads from ABC)

Location:  São Paulo,* Rio de Janeiro

Ideology: Neo-Nazi, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Trans, Antisemitic

The Carecas do ABC (Skinheads from ABC) are an Integralist skinhead gang that started as the Carecas do Subúrbio group in the 1980s, primarily formed in the greater ABC region of São Paulo (ABC standing for the names of three small cities there), particularly in Santo André. In their early days, they claimed their main enemies were the LGBTQ+ community and punks, and over the years police have recorded several violent attacks by members of the group against police and others. Today, they are present in most of the city and in some other state capitals. Inspired by Brazilian Integralist Action, they use its slogan, “God, homeland, and family.” The Carecas are strongly anti-communist and anti-liberal, advocating for the use of violence against those they perceive as the “rotten sectors of society.” The group’s bigotry is a bit inconsistent. They appear to accept Black members and eschew racism, following in the footsteps of Plínio Salgado, but use slogans associated with movements that are clearly white supremacist, and even neo-Nazi. They are openly anti-LGBTQ+ and antisemitic. And there are pictures of their members on social media showing tattoos of the white supremacist slogan, The 14 Words, and other Nazi symbology. They praise antisemitic Integralist Gustavo Barroso on their website.

Their distinctive attire includes boots with metal tips, tight jeans, military-inspired jackets, shirts in dark or white colors, and suspenders or belts with metal buckles. They associate themselves with a specific genre of music and the “Careca” lifestyle, which revels in hatred towards rivals and glorifies violence between rival gangs. Carecas have engaged in violence outside the movement as well. One tragic incident occurred in 2000, when Edson Néris da Silva, a dog trainer and gay man, was brutally beaten to death by Careca members. In 2021, the group targeted an anti-fascist musician, assaulting him on “Black Awareness Day” prior to his scheduled performance at a bar in São Paulo. During the assault, a banner proclaiming “white pride is not a crime” was displayed. 

The Carecas were early Jair Bolsonaro supporters. In 2011, they organized a “civic event” in support of then-Federal Deputy Bolsonaro. The group was reportedly attracted to Bolsonaro’s support of the military dictatorship and the use of torture under that regime. Eduardo Thomaz, the leader of the Carecas at the time, said, “We are supporting Deputy Jair Bolsonaro because he represents the Brazilian family, and we have the right to support him.” They participate in activities and gatherings sponsored by Integralist organizations, while maintaining their autonomy. They also participated in demonstrations for the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff. According to researcher Adriana Dias, the Carecas had about 250 members in 2018. Elected an alternate state deputy in 2022, Thomaz also actively campaigned for Bolsonaro in his 2022 presidential race and published photos with the president’s brother, Renato Bolsonaro. Their recent activities have centered around music events and socializing. It is unclear who leads the group today. Thomaz has often been cited as its leader, but he denies any connection with the group.

Falange de Aço (Steel Falange) 

Location:  Rio Grande do Sul

Ideology: White Nationalist

Associating itself with a number of Brazilian separatist and Identitarian groups, the small white nationalist group Falange de Aço (Steel Falange) advocates for secession of the South from the rest of Brazil. Their tagline on Twitter is “Defending nationalism and Southern separatism.” The use of Falange in their name immediately identifies them with the origins of the authoritarian movement that supported former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Falangism emphasizes the need for centralized authority, hierarchy, and order in society and is anti-communist and anti-democratic. The group’s online imagery makes clear that they are racist and view the South as European, meaning “white,” in nature. They emphasize masculinity, posting an image of two white men fighting with swords and the slogan, “We are Strong, We are Men.” Other posts rail at elected officials and others that support people moving to the South, alluding to Black Northeasterners, saying this “destroys what is left of our culture and makes our cities dirty.” The group also blames Israel for “destroying the West.” 

The group is part of a network that includes Sol e Clava (Sun and Sword), Southern Independent Militia, and the Paulista Identitarian Movement, and also are active football fans. The group supports the most well-known Portuguese neo-Nazi, Mario Machado. It has mentioned him on Telegram referencing the idea that Brazil, too, must defend its European legacy. The group posts images of their meetings in Porto Alegre and puts up stickers in cities in the area. It is clearly Christian and posts idealized pictures of traditional families. The group had an Instagram account which, in April 2023, was taken offline, but is still active on Twitter. Their tagline is “nationalist and Southern separatists defense group.”

For the most part, Steel Falange pushes its separatist messages, such as “Destroy the enemies of Southerners.” It is unclear why, but in 2023, the group lost one Telegram channel, and then another that replaced it. They complained profusely on Twitter that there was no reason for their removal, and it is unclear why Telegram removed the accounts given the amount of extremist material that is on the platform.

Força Nacionalista do Brasil (Brazilian Nationalist Force, FNB)

Location:  Unknown

Ideology: Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Trans, Antisemitic, Religious Nationalist, Conspiracy

Força Nacionalista do Brasil (Brazilian Nationalist Force, FNB) is part of a network of small organizations closely aligned with Nova Resistência (New Resistance), which the U.S. government describes as a “quasi-paramilitary neo-fascist organization operating in South America, Europe, and North America with deep connections to entities and individuals within Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem.” Under the banner of “Traditionalism, Protection and Sovereignty,” FNB supports nationalism, propagates anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-trans propaganda, and spreads conspiracy theories. It is part of a network of groups that are supporters of the Fourth Political Theory, proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor Alexander Dugin in a book of the same name. It advocates a new political system that incorporates traditional religious values and elements from fascism, liberalism, and communism, which he considers the three prior political theories. For Dugin, the West and liberalism are driving a moral degeneracy that advances LGBTQ+ rights, “gender ideology,” and a “woke” culture, which will be replaced by his new politics. They push Christian Nationalism and support the return of Moral and Civic Education in schools, an educational program imposed during the military dictatorship. 

Dugin’s ideas are central to this movement. Generally, Dugin critiques modernity and the West, and claims that its political ideas are “pathological.” Dugin views liberal democracies as fostering the “aggressive totalitarian imposition of LGBT+, gay marriage, and other perversions,” and lays these “perversions” at the hands of artificial intelligence and “post-humanist Big Tech.” These critiques of the West are combined with a conservative religious fervor. 

FNB is active on both Twitter and Telegram. On Twitter, they have raged against Israel, claiming the need for “A FIGHT AGAINST ZIONIST TYRANNY,” blaming the West for “fanatically defending the artificial and terrorist State of Israel,” and giving support to “all organizations and individuals, from any part of the political spectrum, who fight against the existence of the State of Israel and express their sympathies for the resistance movements to the Zionist occupation!” Generally, their social media is filled with calls to purify their culture from “parasites infecting our national body,” and bring back the “spiritual, cultural and folk values ​​of Brazil.” One post describes gay couples with children as “sexual traffickers.” Positive references and images of Integralism are littered throughout their posts, along with calls to oppose “cosmopolitanism” that is “spread by Atlanticist powers and globalist organizations.” They also rant about “globalist bankers.” Their posts make claims that Cleopatra was white, and that Indigenous Brazilians are being manipulated by “stateless agents.” Their propaganda targets the LGBTQ+ population, transgender people, and calls for a “reactionary revolution.” Like many far-right organizations, George Soros is often their bogeyman. A recent post read, “The Open Society Foundation, founded by George Soros, aims to impose a degenerate and imperialist agenda on countries. Advocates of agendas such as: drug liberation, legalization of abortion and the release of prisoners, and LGBT issues, want to end our country!” 

Força Nova do Brasil (New Force Brazil)

Location:  Unknown

Ideology: White Nationalist, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBTQ+, Conspiracy

Força Nova do Brasil (New Force Brazil) is mostly active through its Telegram channel, which in December 2023 had nearly 200 followers. It is a Brazilian offshoot of the Italian political party Forza Nuova. There is an email contact for those interested in joining the group. In Italy, ​​Forza Nuova is a neo-fascist political party that pushes white nationalism and rails against immigrants and LGBTQ+ people. They are one of the most organized groups on the Italian far right. The movement is led by Roberto Fiore, who is also the chair of the far-right Alliance for Peace and Freedom (AFP) European parliamentary grouping, and is based out of Rome with chapters all over the country, and a youth movement called Lotta Studentesca (Student Struggle). Forza Nuova’s website describes the party as one that “aims to lay foundations for a real and decisive reconstruction of law, stability and justice in our country, thus strengthening its weakened fiber and guaranteeing the future of our people,” by repealing abortion laws, facilitating “family and demographic growth,” “stopping immigration,” “banning Freemasonry and Secret Sects,” “eradicating usury,” reinstating Italy’s 1929 Church-State concordat, repealing the Mancino and Scelba liberticidal laws that destroy liberty by restricting citizen speech and actions, and acting to form “Corporations for the Defense of Workers.” The party has campaigned against same-sex marriage and immigration. 

Força Nova do Brasil makes references to and celebrates the years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, hoping for a return, and reposts information from its Italian partner. On Telegram, they post a considerable amount of anti-LGBTQ+ content, including pejorative jokes about transgender people, as well as reposting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim material. Posts also praise neo-Nazi groups, as in a November 2023 post that offered support to the banned Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. Also in November, posts praised countries, like Bolivia, that had broken off relations with Israel. They also praise Massimo Morsello, the Italian fascist who co-founded Forza Nuova, and link to Fiore’s Telegram account. Posts on Telegram make clear the group engages in propaganda actions, showing them placing stickers in various places.

Frente Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Front, FIB)

Location:  São Paulo,* Bahia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza

Ideology: Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Woman, Conspiracy

Established in 2005, the Frente Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Front, FIB) is the largest organization in Brazil’s modern Integralist movement. The FIB views itself as a reincarnation of Plínio Salgado’s 1930s movement, and is charged with rescuing the cultural, political and ideological heritage of Salgado’s movement. After Salgado died in 1975, a series of attempts to revive his movement failed. But in 2004, the First Integralist Congress for the 21st century was held in São Paulo. At the congress, the idea of FIB emerged, though it was originally called the Brazilian Integralist Movement (MIB). In 2005, FIB was officially established through the union of various Integralist associations that had been functioning autonomously. As of late 2023, Moises Lima is the president of the Brazilian Integralist Front (FIB). He was a political consultant affiliated with the Brazilian party Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (PTB). 

FIB traces its roots to the European fascist-inspired Integralist movement of the 1930s. On its website, FIB describes itself as “creating a school of culture and civility, inspired by Christian values, to awaken our people around the real possibilities of the nation, raising their self-esteem and asserting themselves for the construction of the most beautiful civilization of the 21st century! Without links or commitments to any existing private organization or political party, the Brazilian Integralist Front arises as a result of the aspirations of true nationalists.” They are highly active online and work with other far-right extremists, as well as political parties. FIB’s symbols, salutations, and songs are the same as during Salgado’s era. FIB uses the Greek letter Sigma (Σ) as its emblem, and a strong-armed salute with “Anauê!” as its greeting. Lucas Carvalho, member of the national board of directors, said that Integralism is a movement that is based on God, religion and a “nationalism.” The group is anti-LGBTQ+, Carvalho saying, “The defense of the natural family is the fundamental core of the nation, a source of true education and a source of life.” The group’s motto “Deus, Pátria e Família” (God, homeland, and family) reflects the values that guide Integralism, which is opposed to LGBTQ+ and women’s reproductive rights. The organization is firmly anti-abortion and has a traditional view of women’s roles. FIB were strong supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, and some of their principals were awarded with appointments in his administration. They were especially proud that in 2022, “Bolsonaro repeated the Integralist motto in his speech at the UN.”

FIB is highly organized, led by a general secretariat, national secretariat of legal affairs, national secretariat of doctrine and studies and a secretariat of expansion. They are organized into state and municipal chapters that push propaganda and hold protests. It is unclear how many chapters they currently have. At one point, FIB’s website hosted a map with their chapters around the country, but as of February 2024, it appears to be gone, leaving potential members to fill out an information request. From its propaganda, it’s clear the main activities for FIB are holding meetings, disseminating pamphlets and newsletters, demonstrations, interacting with political parties and internationally with other far-right groups like Italy’s Forza Nuova.

In 2018, during the presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro recorded a video with the FIB president, at the end of which he shouted the Integralist greeting “Anauê.” In 2019, a member of the FIB and former Patriota and PRONA candidate for Congress, Paulo Fernando Melo da Costa, was appointed as a special advisor to Human Rights Minister Damares Alves in the Bolsonaro administration. Also in 2019, Eduardo Fauzi was accused of being one of the attackers who threw Molotov cocktails at Porta dos Fundos, presumably due to their premiering on Netflix a film that depicted Jesus as gay. Fauzi was at the time listed on FIB’s website as the head of its Rio de Janeiro chapter, but the group disputed that and distanced itself from the attack. Another group eventually took credit for the attack.

In June 2021, FIB reported that Facebook deleted accounts linked to FIB, stating that they had “deactivated thousands of real user accounts linked to our movement.” They also reported that many members were deplatformed without the ability to appeal. Interestingly, Moisés Lima actually denounced the January 2023 coup attempt, saying, “In no way could vandalism against the building-symbols of Brazilian political power contribute to the intent of the dissatisfied. On the contrary, regardless of the intentions or manipulations of the crowd, this is a victory of the left and a defeat of all lovers of freedom, peace, progress, in short, of God, the Homeland and the Family, and those who performed such an act could not count, as they do not count on our support.”

Since 2022, FIB has increasingly leaned into anti-LGBTQ+ messaging. Recent fliers have mocked leftists as having, “1000 different genders,” and another, ““A sovereign nation of deviants?,” referring to the trans community. Other propaganda has picked up on narratives from the anti-woman Incel movement, talking of “‘The chad Integralist.’ Trains constantly. Virile man.” (Chad is a reference to the alpha males who Incels wish they were). FIB’s work is also propagated by affiliated online networks including the United Sigma Channels, or Sigma Canais Reunidos. This is a network that distributes FIB and other Integralist materials online and includes sites and social media channels run by Nova Acção (New Action), Offensiva Imperial (Imperial Offensive), Defesa Do Integralismo (Defending Integralism), and Sigma Films. Telegram channels including Flama Verde Nationalista (Green Nationalist Flame) and the website Paginas de Combate (Pages of Battle) also distribute FIB materials as well as other Integralist writings.

Hammerskins Brazil/Crew 38

Location:  Santa Catarina

Ideology: Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist

The Hammerskin Nation (HSN) is a neo-Nazi skinhead movement founded in Texas in 1988. The organization is part of an international community that calls itself “Hammerskin Nation” (HSN) and is active mainly in Europe and the United States, but there are clearly members in Brazil and other countries around the world. Hammerskins aim for a racially pure worldwide community of white nationalists. Rules for members are outlined in the 1998 Hammerskin Constitution, which each chapter can adapt to the circumstances of their respective country. Crew 38 serves as a feeder organization that members join as probates until they are “patched” into the Hammerskins, meaning receive membership and an official patch for their clothing. The symbol for HSN is 38 which stands for “crossed hammers” (3 equals “C” and 8 equals “H”). HSN is most notable for organizing major hate music festivals in many countries and an annual “Hammerfest” in the U.S. Brazilian police have found American Hammerskin members who have journeyed to Brazil.

Antifascist researchers supported by the German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation contend that Brazil’s chapter of HSN was actually set up by the Portugal Hammerskins, who helped establish a Crew 38 chapter in Brazil in 2016. By 2020, the group received permission to call themselves an official chapter of HSN, Hammerskins Brazil (HSB). Photos online show a Brazilian member visiting Germany in 2018 wearing a Crew 38 prospect patch in front of Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ villa in Wandlitz. 

As in most other countries where they operate, members have been involved in considerable criminal activity. In 2021, a Portuguese man affiliated with the Brazilian Hammerskins was indicted in Brazil for running a “transnational criminal organization.” He was identified as one of four people running the Santa Catarina branch of HSB, called the Southlands Hammerskins. Other members of the group were accused of plotting to kill Black and Jewish people. In November 2022, eight men were arrested after being suspected of involvement with a Hammerskin chapter in São Pedro de Alcântara. In April 2023, two men affiliated with the Brazilian Hammerskins were indicted in Caxias do Sul for running a criminal organization and defending Nazism. In November 2023, Brazilian police in Santa Catarina state carried out a large raid of neo-Nazis. They arrested eight holed up in a rural property using the name Crew 38.  Several of the men were tattooed with Nazi symbols and phrases in English, including “White Power.” The raids also unearthed red, white, and black Nazi-style flags, Hammerskin t-shirts, and hate music CDs. There were also Crew 38 banners with the slogan “All for One, One for All.” The police believe the group were selling the items to Hammerskins cells in the United States and Europe.

Impacto Hooligan (Hooligan Impact, IH)

Location:  São Paulo, Paraná

Ideology: White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, Anti-LGBTQ+

Impacto Hooligan (Hooligan Impact, IH) is a neo-Nazi and anti-LGBTQ+ street gang. They are heavily influenced by Integralism. IH is known for conducting violent attacks during the 2009 São Paulo Pride Parade. Members of IH assaulted a young gay Black man, who later died in the hospital. They also detonated a homemade bomb in the parade, leaving over 40 people injured. In 2011, after being convicted by the courts for the bomb attack during the 2009 Pride parade, IH adherent Guilherme Witiuk Ferreira de Carvalho, aka “Chuck,” was arrested for a crime of intolerance. He and four other young men were accused of physically assaulting four people near Avenida Paulista. During a statement given by the victims to the police, they said that while they were being punched and kicked, their attackers shouted, “Blacks, Northeasterners, sons of bitches, we are skinheads and we are going to kill you zombies.” According to the Civil Police, three axes, four daggers, a machete, a double-edged iron pen and a belt with an English punch as its buckle were seized from the accused. One of the assailants was wearing a black t-shirt with a Celtic cross surrounded by “white pride world wide,” which has been adopted as a slogan by racist skinhead groups all over the world. Another accused was wearing a green jacket with the word “skinheads” embroidered on the back, and the acronym I.H.

In 2015, a report by an antifascist Brazilian group described IH as being known “for its extremely violent and racist actions” as well as “constant attacks on homeless people and minorities.” The report also stated that IH “is also active in the virtual environment, promoting Nazism and preaching the extermination of minorities such as Jews, blacks, gays, Northeasterners, and people of mixed race. In addition, they use the Internet to lure young people and recruit adults into their ranks.” In 2016, The Casa Mafalda, a space for culture and politics in São Paulo, was targeted by IH in two attacks in less than a week. The entrance was vandalized with swastikas and inscriptions referencing Hitler and American neo-Nazi terrorist, David Lane. IH graffiti continues to be reported in areas where IH is active. Welker de Oliveira Guerreiro, was also indicted by the Federal Public Ministry in 2021 for posts made on the unmoderated Russian social media site VK in 2015. Welker is affiliated with IH and was previously arrested in 2011 for assaulting homeless people in downtown São Paulo alongside other neo-Nazis. He also created a page for “Misanthropic Division (Brazil)” on the same social network, with the help of Ferreira de Carvalho. There are photos on the Russian social media site VK showing IH members with their faces covered by an emoji referencing Hitler and wearing Impacto Hooligan t-shirts. Despite fewer police reports of incidents involving IH in recent years, the group still exists as of 2023 and has members in various Brazilian cities.

Instituto Conservador Liberal (Conservative Liberal Institute, ICL)/Formação Conservadora (Conservative Formation, FC)

Location:  Brasilia

Ideology: Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Woman, Religious Nationalist

The Instituto Conservador Liberal (Conservative Liberal Institute, ICL) is a think tank created in 2021 by Eduardo Bolsonaro, the third son of former President Jair Bolsonaro. Like his father, Eduardo Bolsonaro is against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ rights and wants to criminalize communism. He has held various elected offices and is as of 2024 a federal deputy for São Paulo. ICL is “pro-life, pro-family,” for “free access to firearms, “the rejection of socialism and communism,” anti-abortion and religious nationalist, centering “freedom of religious expression” and the “natural family.”

ICL, which is a membership organization that requires payment to access its resources, says on its website that, “The Conservative-Liberal Institute was born with the clear intention of becoming the largest political education institute in the country, working to recover, develop, and spread conservative-liberal values in Brazilian society.” ICL appears particularly interested in forging links with international far-right organizations. It works with the American far-right organization, Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is solidly pro-Trump and has hosted Eduardo Bolsonaro, to hold CPAC conferences in Brazil. Recent CPAC events have featured anti-LGBTQ+ speakers, anti-immigrant activists, and presentations spreading the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. On ICL’s website, the 2021 CPAC in Brasília is celebrated, “as the largest conservative event in the history of Brazil! Adding the face-to-face and online audience, the event reached almost 35,000 people!” Eduardo Bolsonaro is celebrated on the page as the first Brazilian to address a CPAC audience in 2019. ICL’s webpage shows CPAC Brazil as official events put on by the group. 

Bolsonaro has deep connections to people in Trump’s orbit. In September 2021, Jason Miller, a former Trump senior adviser, and other American far-right actors, were detained and questioned for three hours at Brasília International Airport following participation in the 2021 CPAC Brazil Conference. The investigation was part of an inquiry by Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes into misinformation allegedly perpetuated by the administration of Jair Bolsonaro. Miller had praised Bolsonaro’s supporters as “proud patriots,” and claimed they had been deplatformed and shadow-banned by Brazilian authorities. Miller runs Gettr, which  sponsored CPAC when organized in Brazil by ICL, and also a regional meeting called “Brasil Profundo” (Deep Brazil). Miller continued to advise Jair Bolsonaro after his October 2022 election defeat, meeting with Eduardo Bolsonaro in November 2022.

With the aim of organizing seminars and courses for the dissemination of far-right ideas, besides CPAC, the Institute also organizes the conference Deep Brazil, which has been held in various places around the country. On its Instagram, ICL mentions the global connections of the far right, including dictatorial governments in the Arabic world, but mainly its connections with Trumpism in the U.S. They worked actively for the election of Jair Bolsonaro as well as other executive and legislative far-right leaders. In 2023, Eduardo Bolsonaro also launched a similar organization, Formação Conservadora (Conservative Formation), which is used to train up cadres on his ideas. 

ICL has also gotten involved in international legal issues. They joined “27 other conservative and pro-life organizations” in signing on as amicus curiae, or friend of the court brief, in an appeal filed with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights by the government of El Salvador in the case of “Mauela,” a pseudonym for a young plaintiff. The Court had already found El Salvador responsible for Manuela’s death, who in 2008 was unjustly sentenced to 30 years in prison for aggravated homicide after suffering an obstetric emergency that resulted in the loss of her pregnancy. Manuela died imprisoned two years later from cancer, after receiving inadequate medical diagnosis and treatment. El Salvador was deemed to have violated Manuela’s rights to life, health, judicial protections and guarantees, freedom from discrimination and gender violence, and other rights. El Salvador was ordered to make full reparations to Manuela’s family and to reform its legal and health care policies, which criminalize women for seeking reproductive health care. ICL clearly doesn’t agree with the court’s decision.

Eduardo Bolsonaro’s Formação Conservadora, which preaches ideas similar to the institute, disseminates conservative values and policies to combat an alleged predominance of the left in areas such as universities, the press, and cultural media. It also hopes to train up “new conservative leaders.” FC is intended to serve as another arm of the far right in Brazil, a new organization that will provide direct contact with Eduardo and other elected far-right officials and train up leaders for what FC calls the “cultural war.” The first page of the website reads, “There is a war going on, and Brazil needs you!” The website says FC is “a training school for conservatives who wish to actively participate in the process of rescuing Brazil” and its mission is “to train leaders and prepare conservatives to take back space in the culture war, confronting the lies of the left in their daily lives, opening the eyes of the people around them, and acting in local communities.” It also promises members “exclusive access to a monthly conversation with Eduardo Bolsonaro via video conference.” Members pay a fee to access FC’s materials.

FC’s training pushes anti-LGBTQ+ materials and religious fundamentalism. According to a recent investigation, one teacher for “Essential training in Politics” is André Porciúncula, Eduardo Bolsonaro’s partner at Braz Global Holding LLC, a company founded in March 2023 in Texas. In the course, Porciúncula, who is known for sharing fake news and spoke in support of those involved in the January 8 storming of Brazil’s federal buildings, speaks as an art expert and claims that the left is trying to destroy the Christian faith and morality to implement its political ideals. To “go deeper” into the subject matter, the instructors suggest documentaries from the conservative production company Brasil Paralelo (Parallel Brazil). Other instructors at FC are federal deputies Nikolas Ferreira, denounced for transphobia; Gustavo Gayer, whose criticism led to the banning of a book by Marçal Aquino at the University of Rio Verde; Bia Kicis, investigated in the fake news inquiry opened at the Supreme Federal Court; Marcos Pollon; former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles; Chris Tonietto; and Mario Frias, who assaulted a journalist in a session of the House Communications Committee; and senator and former Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves. The environment course is taught by Ricardo Salles, former minister of the environment, who left the Bolsonaro government after becoming the target of a criminal investigation for allegedly acting illegally on behalf of loggers, while the feminism course is taught by State Representative Ana Campagnolo, who calls herself an “anti-feminist.”

Kombat RAC (Rock Contra o Comunismo) (Combat Rock Against Communism, KRAC)

Location:  Goiânia

Ideology: White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi

Kombat RAC (Combat Rock against Communism, KRAC) is a neo-Nazi and white supremacist group, which is known for its antisemitism. Brazil’s Civil Police have described the group as a “neo-Nazi gang.” KRAC distributes antisemitic propaganda online and in Brazil’s major cities. KRAC started out holding hate music events and was allied closely with the neo-Nazi skinhead group, Hammerskins, which is headquartered in the U.S. but has many chapters internationally, including in Brazil. In 2011, KRAC joined a demonstration put on by an Ultra Defense leader in support of then-Federal Deputy Jair Bolsonaro. In 2019, the researcher Adriana Dias, identified its activities in Goiânia, in the State of Goiás. KRAC, along with Hooligan Impacto, split from another neo-Nazi group, Front 88, which disbanded sometime in the 2000s. This group is mostly active online, and its presence has been tracked by researchers monitoring online networks. KRAC has used the Russian social media network VK to organize debates and activities. 

The group is deeply connected to violence. In 2020, they put out a video that threatened a rabbi who criticized the group’s propaganda. In 2017, four members were temporarily arrested, and the homes of some members were searched. In 2022, those members were finally arrested for the Brazilian crime of defending Nazism. In a 2018 incident, a young neo-Nazi who stabbed two colleagues after a discussion over racism in a public high school in São Paulo had connections and communication with Kombat Rac’s members. In August 2019, another adherent was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing a cell phone and assaulting an 80-year-old retiree in São Paulo. He served part of his sentence and was eventually released. The individual had multiple Nazi tattoos, and one on his neck that read “Kombat RAC.” 

Misanthropic Division Brazil

Location:  Unknown

Ideology:  Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist

The Misanthropic Division Brazil is an offshoot from Misanthropic Division, a Ukrainian group known for forming the Azov Battalion in 2014. The Azov Battalion fought pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government. It has long been known to harbor neo-Nazis and antisemites and has attracted racial extremists from around the world into its ranks. The Azov Division was later integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard and has been playing a significant role in the recent Ukrainian war. Since 2016, Misanthropic Division Brazil has been trying to attract Brazilians over the internet to fight with Azov against Russia. 

The Brazilian group appears to be quite small but was investigated by the Federal Police in 2020 because of antisemitic posts and hate propaganda. Members have used Twitter to exalt Hitler, propagate hate messages against Jews, and post photo montages to create the image of being “good Nazis.” In 2017, the Financial Times identified the recruitment of Brazilian Nazis in seven cities to serve as volunteer combatants with Azov. The group was also behind the display of the banner “white lives matter” on November 20, 2022, which is the “Day of Black Consciousness” in Brazil. It is difficult to estimate the size of the group, but reports identify a small network that works both online and off. 

There is concern within Brazil that experience with Azov will bring militarized neo-Nazis back into the country. In 2022, the Intercept reported that “Radical miscreants from all over the world who subscribe to the blood-and-soil ideology of neo-Nazi subcultures like the Misanthropic Division have a very real opportunity to travel to Ukraine, get military training, and participate in intense armed conflict against a technologically advanced enemy. If they survive, their combat experience could give them the confidence and ability to carry out acts of political violence in their home countries. This is clearly cause for concern at a time when incidents of hate crimes and domestic terrorism are on the rise.” There have been reports of Bolsonaro supporters with white supremacist sympathies traveling to Ukraine to fight, though it is unclear if they are part of the Misanthropic Division.

In 2016, police conducted eight raids across Rio Grande do Sul at addresses linked to radical groups. Police officers confiscated ammunition, propaganda materials, and books about Nazism, and detained a 26-year-old man. At that time, the objective of the operation was the possible connection of Brazilians with members of the Misanthropic Division. In 2020, Ponte reported on an investigation into the Misanthropic Division, writing that “Members use social networks to exalt Hitler, propagate hate messages against Jews, and display photo montages to create the image of ‘good Nazis.’” On Twitter, police denounced the group, showing images with the Division’s logo alongside two AK-47s.

Movimento Brasil Conservador (Brazilian Conservative Movement, MBC)

Movimento Brasil Conservador (Brazilian Conservative Movement, MBC)

Location:  Porto Alegre

Ideology: Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Trans, Conspiracy

The Movimento Brasil Conservador (Brazilian Conservative Movement, MBC) was launched on September 1, 2018, during Jair Bolsonaro’s first presidential election campaign, to support his candidacy. It views itself as “as a kind of ‘virtual mecca’ of the Bolsonaristas” and its tagline is “in defense of the pillars of Western civilization.” The MBC was founded in 2018 by far-right actors Maurício Costa, Anderson Sandes, Henrique Oliveira and Rodrigo Moller, followers of Olavo de Carvalho. Mauricio Costa is the primary founder of MBC, and is close to Eduardo Bolsonaro, who has spoken at MBC events. Costa promotes the idea that there is a communist threat in Brazil and took part in a public hearing on the dangers of communism to the country. MBC is also supported by Brazil’s “monarchical heir,” Dom Bertrand de Orleans e Bragança, a climate denialist, not surprising as the group has pushed a monarchist agenda. The goal of the group is to “restore Brazil” by combating “the cultural domination imposed by the left.” It claims, “​​We can no longer be hostages to other movements that advocate agendas such as abortion, legalization of drugs, and sexual promiscuity.” In addition to providing content to “empower the right,” its members held several street demonstrations in support of Bolsonaro in the lead up to his second run for the presidency. 

MBC takes its inspiration from far-right ideologue, Olavo de Carvalho, who died in 2022 and was a central figure on the Brazilian far right and primary inspiration for Jair Bolsonaro. He was a political pundit, astrologer, journalist, and far-right conspiracy theorist, who spoke at MBC events. Since the 2000s, Carvalho spread his ideas online, particularly on a YouTube channel with over one million followers. Carvalho’s many false or misleading statements included the claim that fraud actually occurred in the U.S. presidential election, that Joe Biden has Parkinson’s disease, that Kamala Harris works for the Chinese government, and that China and Iran, among other countries, were behind Biden’s candidacy. He propagated other conspiracy theories, including alleging that there are plans for the establishment of a global communist dictatorship, denying the threat of COVID, and global warming (he died of COVID). 

Carvalho was rabidly anti-communist and conspiratorial, but also skeptical of a conservative revolution in Brazil. Carvalho predicted that the conservative right would “destroy itself” if it elected a president before “developing intellectually,” though he supported Bolsonaro. Carvalho believed that Brazilian conservatives should spend decades studying before trying to take power. He described Bolsonaro’s election as a “premature ejaculation.” In March 2019, Eduardo Bolsonaro, one of Jair Bolsonaro’s sons, said that “without Olavo, there wouldn’t have been the election of Jair Bolsonaro.” Carvalho exerted influence in the Bolsonaro administration. He recommended Ernesto Araújo, a career diplomat who shares Carvalho’s conspiratorial theories about globalism and the “New World Order,” to the position of foreign minister. Bolsonaro followed the recommendation. Carvalho and Bolsonaro had a falling out in June 2020, after the president failed to “defend” Carvalho when he was sued for allegedly making false accusations of pedophilia against Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso.

MBC organizes seminars featuring dozens of speakers from the far right. One of their conferences in 2021 was filled with Bolsonaro partisans, “from influencers and activists to politicians investigated for disseminating fake news and organizing undemocratic acts, ministers dismissed from the government and even a deputy under house arrest, Daniel Silveira.” Silveira was arrested in February 2021 after recording a video threatening ministers of the Federal Supreme Court. Every August 12, on George Soros’s birthday, the international far right celebrates “International Day Against George Soros.” The event was inaugurated in 2020 by MBC, part of an anti-globalist campaign which blames Soros for “overthrowing governments and destabilizing nations. With an agenda that ranges from the destruction of Judeo-Christian culture, legalization of abortion, gender ideology, to internet censorship. The time has come for us to fight together against the personification of globalism.” In publicity material for the day, the Jewish billionaire’s face appeared in ghoulish black and white, spattered with bright red blood.

MBC’s social media shares transphobic content, supporting the racist, misogynist, and anti-LGBTQ+ positions of Bolsonaro. With Carvalho’s argument regarding a culture war against communism, one of the founders of MBC, Maurício Costa, said that the group’s key function is to organize a fight behind the scenes to promote moral reform. From national campaigns against Soros to pro-gun events and promoting anti-abortion campaigns, generally MBC backs and informs the entire Bolsonarist far-right agenda. Though not active online lately, MBC was still holding events as of June 2023. There is evidence of its activities on the unmoderated social media site Gab, promoting the hashtag #MeSeguenoGab (Follow me on GAB). Though CPAC is not organized by the MBC, the group supports CPAC, which hosts far-right speakers, and its events are notable for anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-trans rhetoric. 

Movimento Identitário Paulista (Identitarian Movement of São Paulo, MIP)

Location:  São Paulo

Ideology:  White Nationalist

The Movimento Identitário Paulista (Identitarian Movement of São Paulo, MIP) is a white supremacist group that promotes the need for a war so that the State of São Paulo can secede from the rest of Brazil. Inherent to the Identitarian idea is that “white” populations, which is how some southern Brazilians view themselves, are in opposition to the northern parts of the country, which has a larger Black population, and have a right to their own homelands. The group’s social media presence was launched in February 2023, posting frequently on Telegram and Instagram, though the latter has since been removed. On Telegram, they present themselves as a “study and physical training center in favor of the Paulist identity,” providing an email and Telegram chat contact for membership with the group. They also identify themselves as a “Southern militia.” 

Their Telegram channel features images, with blurred faces, of men displaying neo-Nazi and other white supremacist symbols, as well as racist and antisemitic posts. Among their posts are frequent references to weapons and calls for the urgency of war. Posts also direct non-Paulistas to “Leave my country now!” In one post, the group writes, “the human condition is intrinsic to combat; war is nothing more than subjugating your opponent to your will. War is not beautiful; it is not glorious simply by itself. Only the purpose glorifies it.” There are many Christian references as well, and the group asks for reflection during religious holidays. Their Instagram had posts about divine right and celebrating the Jesuit conversion of Brazilians during the colonial period. On Telegram, the group often reposts other extremist groups’ content, including Falange de Aço (Steel Falange) and Sol e Clava (Sun and Sword). The group places their flags and stickers on public property, including monuments and other sites of public remembrance. 

Movimento Linearista Integralista Brasileiro (Brazilian Integralist Linearist Movement, MIL-B)

Movimento Linearista Integralista Brasileiro (Brazilian Integralist Linearist Movement, MIL-B)

Location:  Campinas

Ideology:  Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Trans, Antisemitic, Religious Nationalist, Conspiracy

The Movimento Linearista Integralista Brasileiro (Brazilian Integralist Linearist Movement, MIL-B) was founded in 2004 by federal police officer Cássio Guilherme Reis Silveira, who formerly participated in meetings at the Integralist think tank Casa Plínio Salgado. But due to Reis Silveira’s reinterpreting Integralism, which he called Linearism because it is somehow based on math and physics, an internecine dispute broke out, and in 2006 he separated the Campinas faction from the Frente Integralista Brasileira (Brazilian Integralist Front, FIB). Reis Silveira is a physics graduate, former scoutmaster and retired federal police officer, and a fan of antisemitic Integralist Gustavo Barroso.

MIL-B “updated” the Integralist ideology from the 1930s to account for more modern concerns, alienating them from other Integralists intent on preserving intact the ideas of the original Integralists. The MIL-B is more radical, more antisemitic, but has fewer adherents. The group is also open to dialogue with organizations of a monarchist nature, which differs from the other Integralist movements. MIL-B claims that Integralism needs to adopt a new theological worldview opposed to universal suffrage, political parties, and democracy. MIL-B, by definition, is “deeply opposed to political parties and liberal democracy.” They support the creation of a corporate state, a popular fascist notion that business be subjugated to an authoritarian leader or movement based on that leader’s vision. There are also mystical and esoteric elements to the MIL-B’s ideology. From its website: “In that regard, the Brazilian Integralist and Linearist Movement feels the duty to reconstruct, or at least to rescue, the true image of the Christian Jesus: a lion who came to confront, not a lamb who came to immolate himself. The death of Jesus cannot be seen by true Christians as a password to redemption and salvation, but rather as a call to struggle and confrontation. The only thing that Christian Churches seem to fortify is the desire for laxity and weeping, teaching the weakness of shrill singing in the face of the oncoming lions. We can say with absolute certainty: Communism and Liberal Capitalism can only exist on roads that have already been paved for centuries by Judaizing Christianity.” 

MIL-B spreads antisemitic conspiracies that assert that Jews are either evil globalists or the power behind global international elites. Their website features an image of MIL-B crushing “the great international financial capital” with a stereotypical image of a Jewish man. The group speaks of a conspiracy “of the international Zionist empire” to spread capitalism and communism, which would be “co-sister” ideologies. Reis Silveira is also a Holocaust denier. For him, elections are suspect and part of the “conspiracy.” Like other Integralist groups, MIL-B uses the “Anauê” greeting paired with the roman salute. Brazilian researcher Odilon Neto has explained that MIL-B employs “a Manichaean reading of the history of humanity, where the Jews are seen not only as disintegrating forces, but truly evil, at the service of the Devil and against service of the Devil and against God and the entire Christian tradition.” 

Like other Integralist groups, MIL-B is anti-LGBTQ+, anti-gender, and anti-trans based on their religious beliefs. In 2015, a teacher was assaulted in Campinas City Hall and identified her attacker as Reis da Silveira, then president of MIL-B. The incident occurred during a meeting to vote on whether to end the inclusion of gender ideology, meaning use of the term “gender” or “sexual orientation,” in the city’s school curricula. The assault happened during a protest by MIL-B members. 

In 2022, on the eve of his extradition from Russia to Brazil due to his involvement in the firebombing of production company Porta dos Fundos, Eduardo Fauzi shared a video saluting MIL-B and its founder. Prior to the attack, Fauzi had been president of the Brazilian Integralist Front in Rio de Janeiro and a leader with the Civic and Cultural Association Arcy Lopes Estrella (ACCALE). After the attacks, both organizations disassociated themselves from their controversial member. Fauzi’s approach to MIL-B was not rebuffed; there is a major rivalry between Integralist organizations, and MIL-B may see Fauzi as a way to build its ranks. On Twitter, there is a campaign led by MIL-B to “free Fauzi.”

Movimento São Paulo Independente (São Paulo Independent Movement, MSPI)

Movimento São Paulo Independente (São Paulo Independent Movement, MSPI)

Location:  São Paulo

Ideology:  Anti-Immigrant, White Nationalist, Anti-LGBTQ+

The Movimento São Paulo Independente (Independent São Paulo Movement, MSPI) is a separatist organization founded in 1992 by lawyer João Nascimento Franco. The group wants to separate from the rest of Brazil, especially other parts of the country that have larger Black populations. On social media, they frequently point out that the areas with larger Black communities are poorer areas of the country, implying that poverty is related to the racial makeup of other state’s inhabitants. With Nascimento Franco’s death in 2007, the MSPI appeared to fall apart, with its supporters leaving, abandoning militancy, or supporting other groups through the internet, such as the much less radical Movimento República de São Paulo (MRSP). 

But MSPI was relaunched in 2013 by Júlio César Bueno, who declared that São Paulo should forbid migrants from other regions moving there. Though César Bueno claims the group is not xenophobic, he has criticized Haitians being relocated into the state. César Bueno has said that MSPI “is not a segregation movement, but a movement for freedom, for improvement and social inclusion.” He argues that São Paulo has ”limited territory” and “we need to control the entrance of people, with a law based on very objective criteria. You can’t bring everyone into São Paulo.” He says he is “convinced” that, with independence, São Paulo would be able to solve all its problems. “The federal government serves to produce underdevelopment. We know that the money that leaves the state that pays the most taxes doesn’t go to the poorer states. This money ends up being lost in corruption.” 

On MSPI’s website, under “Identity and Culture,” the group writes, “All over the West, nations have been going through a complex identity crisis…In our perspective, it is necessary to reaffirm traditional cultural identities. The people from São Paulo, due to their historical constitution, have an identity that is distinct from any other population inhabiting a territory other than the State of São Paulo.” To protect this identity, they urge secession, to preserve their culture and “realize that [a Paulista] is part of a distinct and independent geographical whole, that is, that he is not a member of the ‘Brazilian nation.’” 

MSPI rejects multiculturalism, and instead emphasizes traits that Paulistas have supposedly received from their “Iberian ancestors.” They venerate European immigrants who came to the region in the 19th century and imply that people of color from other regions are a drain on the state. They participate on Telegram in a network that pushes white supremacy, defenses of ethnic superiority, and anti-LGBTQ+ content, a community they view as opposed to their religious principles and the natural family.

Nova Resistência (New Resistance, NR)

Location:  Rio de Janeiro

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Antisemitic, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBTQ+, Conspiracy

Nova Resistência (New Resistance, NR) was founded in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro. It was established by Raphael Machado, a big fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor Alexander Dugin and his Fourth Political Theory, which proposes a new theocratic and highly conservative politics to supersede liberalism, fascism, and communism, but he is no longer involved in the group. The U.S. Department of State has issued a white paper on the group, describing NR as a “quasi-paramilitary neo-fascist organization operating in South America, Europe, and North America with deep connections to entities and individuals within Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem.” The U.S. says of the Brazilian chapter that it “is particularly active and works to extend the malign influence of New Resistance throughout Latin America” and that “Nova Resistência’s website – registered in Moscow – regularly publishes pro-Kremlin, pro-authoritarian disinformation comparable in content and timing to outlets with known ties to Russian intelligence. Members of the group have repeatedly met with representatives from Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, and have openly expressed their support for the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah.” The white paper describes NR as putting on events with Dugin and other high-ranking Russian officials and holding “academic” seminars and training courses on their YouTube channel and website. The white paper also points out that “the organization’s efforts are not limited to political organizing and philosophizing, but also extend into support for paramilitary activities. In addition to Nova Resistência’s overt propaganda and disinformation in support of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the organization has been involved in efforts to mobilize Brazilians to fight on the side of Russia and its proxies in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.” NR responded to the white paper by calling it “propaganda.”

The group itself is clear that it takes direction from Dugin. On their website, they describe themselves as “a political organization of national-revolutionary, dissident, communitarian, patriotic and popular orientation that is inspired by the project of [Alexander Dugin’s] Fourth Political Theory and Brazilian and Ibero-American Nationalist Thought.” Dugin has deep ties to Brazil, including a study center in São Paulo, and advocates for “Traditionalism,” which preferences the preservation of traditional social order, local particularity, and theocracy and is fundamentally opposed to what he calls the forces of modernity – free markets, democracy, universal human rights. For Dugin, traditionalism is the answer to the failures of liberalism, communism, and fascism. NR, like Dugin, is against liberal and globalist agendas. In 2022, many NR members had their accounts removed from Facebook. On their website, NR states proudly that it has worked with Russians to spread what they consider legitimate information.

The group is clearly antisemitic. It believes an “active resistance is necessary against Atlanticist imperialism, the Zionist lobby in the media and governments, and the neoliberal and globalist agenda in Brazil.” NR claims that the rescue of traditional religion is fundamental to combating modern and postmodern ills, and they define themselves as traditionalists, nationalists, and anti-globalists. They defend “distributism,” an economic theory inspired by Catholic social doctrine, whose main idea is the defense of small family-owned properties as opposed to larger concentrations of property. Families are considered the main foundation of society, which informs their anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-feminist views. A post on Telegram makes this clear, demanding an end to hormonal treatments for children, banning “gender ideology” in schools, keeping Pride parades out of the view of children, and rejecting the notion that “transphobia” is akin in any way to other forms of prejudice. The post ends with, “And this is just the beginning for us to restore some normalcy in Brazil regarding these delusions, so that our country can focus on development and sovereignty.”

NR supports the Identitarian concept of ethnopluralism, which maintains populations should stay in their home countries and immigrants and miscegenation should generally be avoided. In social media posts, the group rejects “mass immigration” which leads to “crimes committed by the immigrants.” They deny the Holocaust, “An international elite has constructed the fictitious narrative that the so-called ‘Holocaust’ was the central event of the 20th century… Obviously, it was not. If it existed at all, it was just a detail within the Second World War.” They blame growing LGBTQ+ rights as caused by “the forces mobilized by the LGBT Lobby, fed by foreign financial resources.” They also lament the supposed “end of masculinity.” Members of the NR have been photographed at meetings where their green star flag shares space with the Black Sun, a Nazi symbol. 

Partido Liberal (Liberal Party, PL)

Partido Liberal (Liberal Party, PL) 

Location:  Nationwide Offices

Ideology:  Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Woman

The Partido Liberal (Liberal Party, PL) is a far-right political party in Brazil whose ticket Jair Bolsonaro ran on for his 2022 presidential campaign. From its founding in 2006 until 2019, it was called the Partido da República (Party of the Republic). PL was created in 2006 through a merger of parties that were situated in the center right. It was considered part of the Center (Centrão), a bloc that shifted its priorities based on possible political advantages, supporting the first government of Lula Inácio da Silva, and that of Dilma Rousseff, even though both represented the center-left Worker’s Party.

In 2021, it became the base of then-president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, for his run in the 2022 Brazilian presidential election. Bolsonaro supporters flooded into the party. With Bolsonaro and these new supporters, the Liberal Party moved further to the far right, abandoning its free market and liberal economic positions, and emphasizing a more strident social conservatism. Since its affiliation with Bolsonaro, the party has increasingly aligned with the anti-democratic right in Brazil. The party’s social media is filled with praise for Bolsonaro, including a January 2024 Twitter post that thanked him for creating a right-wing political movement in Brazil. With the questioning of democracy, foreign policy, and the anti-democratic statements of Bolsonaro, the party seems to have re-embraced some of the tendencies of Eneas Carneiro, the former head of PRONA which merged into PL. Carneiro is a supporter of the previous military dictatorship. The party is closely aligned with evangelical movements and, like Bolsonaro, anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-woman. It has supported Bolsonaro’s attacks on the media and the election system in Brazil.

PL was mired in controversy in 2020 after nominating an openly neo-Nazi activist for a municipal post in Pomerode. On November 30, 2021, Bolsonaro and his son Senator Flávio Bolsonaro — who were previously affiliated with the Social Liberal Party (PSL), left it, and attempted but failed to create the Alliance for Brazil. They then re-joined the PL in preparation for the 2022 Brazilian general election (as presidential candidates must be affiliated with a political party). 

In the 2022 general election, though Bolsonaro lost, the PL became the largest bloc in the National Congress of Brazil with 99 seats and the Federal Senate with 13 seats. The election results show that Bolsonaro remains a force in the country. Leadership of the party has voiced concerns that it may split in the future into a more centrist party and one that represents the Bolsonarist faction. Currently, Michelle Bolsonaro, the former first lady, plays a key role in outreach to women and has aggressively added to its membership, which is now more than 350,000. Like her husband, she promotes “right-wing values” including the family, freedom of expression and life from conception as fundamental principles according to the PL. 

But the party has faced headwinds as Bolsonaro has been caught up in investigations into the attempted coup. In early February 2024, he surrendered his passport to police and four of his ex-aides were arrested. Search warrants have been served against four of his former ministers, three of them retired army generals. The PL’s President Valdemar Costa Neto was also arrested in early February on an unrelated gun charge and provisionally set free.

Resistência Sulista (Southern Resistance, RS)

Resistência Sulista (Southern Resistance, RS)

Location:  Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Anti-LGBTQ+

Resistência Sulista (Southern Resistance, RS) is a small separatist group that networks with the Southern Independent Militia and the Steel Falange. They advocate for the secession of the Southern Brazilian states of Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paraná. The group pushes separatism and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor Alexander Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory, which argues for a traditionalist state to replace liberalism, socialism, and fascism. Dugin’s philosophy is anti-Western, anti-democratic and virulently anti-LGBTQ+. Their now deleted Telegram channel was filled with posts from or about Dugin’s ideas. Support for Dugin is common in Brazil’s New Resistance Movement, which often organizes meetings and events involving southern separatist movements. RS’s private Facebook group says they are against “global hegemonic liberalism in all its forms, whether from the right or the left,” and has more than 500 followers. 

RS supports the concept of ethnopluralism, which is the bedrock of the white supremacist Identitarian movement. It argues that white people belong in European lands and non-white immigrants should return to their home countries. RS wants southern states to be free of people from other parts of Brazil, viewing the region as having a unique culture and people. On their website, they talk of “all the specific characteristics of a people, everything that makes a people what they are: Culture, tradition, philosophy, religion, songs, tales, dialects, language, ethos, ethnicity, soil.” RS sees their region as characterized by Christianity, heterosexuality, and the “traditional family.” They also type themselves of European origin as opposed to regions of Brazil that have more people of color: “We believe that the true nations of Portuguese America should take back what is theirs! The southern states are the true nations; however, they are not the only ones that must liberate themselves from Brazil. Several other states in the Northeast, Southeast, North, in short, should discover their own ideologies grounded in the will, history, and tradition of the people for whom it is developed.”   

The group had a formal membership application through its website, and it had been publishing materials on its philosophy since 2020. Their former website appears to have been removed by the hosting service in 2023. They also point to an Italian website that celebrates Julius Evola, a far-right reactionary Italian who died in 1974. Evola had ties to Nazi Germany, advocated for fascist Italy’s racist laws, and supported traditionalism and monarchy. He called himself a “superfascist.” It is unclear why, but at least one of their former Facebook pages has been removed (only a private group remains on that platform). In 2023, the Brazilian intelligence services listed Southern Resistance–Division 1 as neo-Nazi and determined that they and two other groups were involved in contesting the 2022 election and “disseminated racist content, discussed attacks on authorities and encouraged an armed struggle.”

Sol e Clava (Sun and Sword)

Sol e Clava (Sun and Sword) 

Location:  Rio de Janeiro

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi

Sol e Clava (Sun and Sword) is a white nationalist group that identifies itself as a part of the American-founded, neo-Nazi Active Club network. The Active Clubs were launched in December 2020 by American white supremacist and leader of the neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement, Robert Rundo, to train young white men for an upcoming war against a system they perceive as being oppressive to the white race. In January 2021, Russian neo-Nazi Denis Kapustin and Robert Rundo started a podcast called the “Active Clubs Podcast” to inspire white supremacists around the world to start their own groups. Active Clubs normally get together to train in the gym or do Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) fighting together, as well as distribute white supremacist propaganda in their areas. The network is decentralized, with multiple chapters in many countries, and each branch has their own logo. Sun and Sword’s logo features a sun, lightning bolts, and a sword.

Sun and Sword has also been described by Portuguese neo-Nazi Mario Machado as being part of the Identitarian movement, white nationalist groups that believe there is a plot to replace them in their home countries with non-white immigrants. Information about Sun and Sword mostly comes from its social media accounts, where members are depicted at meetings in Rio de Janeiro, where they aim to “prepare” men for the culture war. Sun and Sword’s social media presence began in January 2022, and they had more than 500 followers on their now removed Instagram page and a few hundred on a private Telegram page. They emphasize action, identity, and land.

On social media, the group depicts members, faces blurred, in boxing gloves and in boxing positions. Images are topped with slogans including “Loyalty and Violence Mold Men,” “Be a Man Among Men,” and “Join a Local Active Club.” They have a weekly broadcast via Telegram called “Identity Voice.” Their posts stress values including moral purity, tradition, and religious fundamentalism. They also spread Identitarian messages about “white genocide.” They follow European and Latin American groups that share their white nationalist values. 

Sul Independente Milícia (Southern Independent Militia)

Sul Independente Milícia (Southern Independent Militia)

Location:  Descanso

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Anti-LGBTQ+

Sul Independente Milícia (Southern Independent Militia, SIM) is a small Identitarian group that mostly exists on Telegram. Extremely racist and xenophobic, SIM encourages a war for Southern liberation and the establishment of a new state in southern Brazil. The Brazilian security services have called the group “neo-Nazi,” and reported that during the 2022 elections the group, “disseminated racist content, discussed attacks on authorities and encouraged an armed struggle.” The group’s main activities occur online, but they do post their propaganda in southern cities. In the summer of 2023, their channels depicted posters they put up reading, “South People, free yourselves! Say no to communism, to the gender ideology and every other movement which wants you dead.” According to Brazil’s security agency, ABIN, SIM posts material including “images with aesthetics and content associated with accelerationist neo-Nazism.” In November 2022, they put up posters in Descanso, Santa Catarina, “against gender ideology,” “against LGBT,” and “against communism.”

On Telegram, they organize meetings and calls, often to discuss separatism and the role of the militia. They push white supremacy with memes that speak of how after war and independence, Black people will be exterminated from their new territory. Typical of their anti-Black racism are posts that read, “Out Rats of the Northeast.” Others have racist images of Black people, one with a Black person attempting to read a book upside down and another claiming Black immigration puts the “future of the South at risk.” In April 2023, Portuguese neo-Nazi leader Mario Machado included SIM on a list of important white nationalist groups, writing, “I remind you that on the other side of the Atlantic, in an even more unequal fight, fight brave warriors of Brazilian nationality but European blood.” On SIM’s Telegram channel, Machado’s post was reprinted with pride. 

Torcidas Anti-Antifascista (Anti-antifascist Fans)

Torcidas Anti-Antifascista (Anti-antifascist Fans)

Location:  Palmeiras (Palmeiras Anti Antifascist), São Paulo (Corinthians Anti-Antifascist and The Firm 1985), Porto Alegre (Grêmio Anti-Antifascist), Rio de Janeiro (Vasco Anti-Antifascist), Rio de Janeiro (Botafogo Anti-Antifascist), Chapecó (Chapecoense Anti-Antifascist), Recife (Sport Anti-Antifascist)

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Anti-LGBTQ+, Antisemitic

The emergence of the Torcidas Anti-Antifascistas (Anti-Antifascist Fans, TA), basically racist hooligan football fan groups, can be traced to 2014 when the Palmeiras Sport Club Antifascist fan group was created. Soon after, the group faced threats and offensive messages on their Facebook page from white nationalist football fans. The anti-antifascists have developed a loose network known for members employing Nazi salutes and organizing to physically attack antifascist football fans attending games. A 2023 post for “Active Nationalists Fans in Brazil,” that showed logos of many anti-antifascist clubs read, “Seeing the risk of the advance of progressive ideologies in the Brazilian stands, patriots and nationalists have united to prevent people with bad faith to dirty their clubs with communist and anti-fascist flags, having ideologies in common we decided to leave clubism aside and unite for the greater good of Brazil! No reds will have tranquility!”

The anti-antifascist fan group phenomenon spread to other football clubs in Brazil, including Grêmio, Vasco, Botafogo, Sport, União Barbarense, and Chapecoense. An example of this is an Instagram page that claims to be where ultra-nationalist fans across Brazil are organized. The fans identify themselves as supporters using the Italian “ultra” term, which emerged in the 1970s and was connected to violent actions by football clubs in that country. On an Instagram page that claims to be the official profile of the anti-Antifascists, there are direct references to Brazilian Integralism, including using the Integralist strong-arm salute along with the Tupi indigenous term “Anauê.”  

The anti-antifascist groups utilize various tools to spread their ideology, with the Roman salute being a prominent feature. This gesture and offensive messages and symbols have been consistently shared on social media platforms for many years. Other posts say “Fuck Antifa” and that they will hunt antifascists down. There are racist posts mocking Black people, others celebrating skinhead groups like the Carecas, and many celebrating violence against anti-fascists. The anti-antifascist groups are particularly focused on any pro-LGBTQ+ activities at stadiums. In some cases, the Torcidas attack LGBTQ+ fans and stop them from entering stadiums. This happened with Yuri Senna, the founder of the group “Marias de Minas,” who was repeatedly threatened by anti-LGBTQ+ supporters of his team, Cruzeiro. On the page “Corinthians Anti Antifa,” there are posts that are antisemitic and anti-Zionist, including caricatures of Jews taking over the world.  

Ultra Defesa (Ultra Defense, UD)

Ultra Defesa (Ultra Defense, UD)

Location:  São Paulo State

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, Anti-LGBTQ+

Ultra Defensa (Ultra Defense, UD) is a white nationalist group that first gained public attention in 2011 when it was involved in neo-Nazi protests in São Paulo. It seemed to go dormant for a time but popped up again to support Jair Bolsonaro “because he represents the Brazilian family, and we have the right to support him.” They protested for Bolsonaro alongside the racist skinhead Carecas do ABC and the white nationalist Kombat RAC. The 2011 pro-Bolsonaro demonstration was convened on the American hate site Stormfront, the first white supremacist website to go online. On its website, Ultra Defesa states that its fundamental principles are “God, Brazil and Family,” the Integralist motto. They are also fans of the Integralist strong arm salute. In 2020, Eduardo Thomaz, who is involved in the group and other extremist outfits, launched a mayoral campaign in Mairinque. In 2021, Thomaz spoke openly of organizing events, often inviting other neo-Nazi groups, in support of Bolsonaro and posted a picture of himself online with the chief minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet, General Augusto Heleno.

UD says it is, “a social, political, and institution of a nationalistic and patriotic nature.” They “value order and discipline” and reinforce that by using “the salutation used by our members and sympathizers: the Roman salute.” The group claims to be “heirs of European civilization (we were colonized by the Portuguese)” and of “Ancient Rome,” the original culture of “the West.” Their website is active and has anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-women content, with explicit references to Nazi symbols. They blame the government for allowing “sodomy” during Pride parades, and that parade participants bring drugs. They ask for financial contributions to hold weekly meetings, cultural activities, sports, and lectures for young people. The group is militaristic and appeals to hypermasculine values. They write, “To be a Legionnaire of Ultra Defense is to be a virtuous and brave man…As such, all our practices are accepted by our members within a hierarchy reinforced by daily discipline.” They say they are “Fighting for the prevalence of a virile ‘Nation.’” Thomas filed a lawsuit against the Brasil de Fato publication for calling UD neo-Nazis. The newspaper won in 2023.

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