Far-Right Hate and Extremist Groups

Portugal

The contemporary far right in Portugal can be traced back to the traditionalist reaction to the liberal revolution of 1910, which overthrew the Portuguese monarchy and replaced it with the First Portuguese Republic. Unlike many fascist regimes in the early 1900s, Portuguese reactionaries were primarily backward-looking, still admiring the monarchist era before the rise of liberal and enlightenment beliefs. The defense of these traditionalist Portuguese values, and a rural lifestyle, was later picked up by the 20th-century dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who expressed traditional fascist rhetoric, but in practice put in place a traditionalist, anti-modernist regime.

In the early 20th century, a generation of Portuguese nationalists began to be influenced by the writings of “Integralismo Lusitano” (Lusitanian Integralism), a traditionalist, anti-republican school of thought which consisted of eugenicist and scientific racism, as well as antisemitic beliefs often imported from abroad. One such early reactionary was Amadeo Vasconcelos Mariotte, whose text Os Meus Cadernos (My Notebooks), published in 1913, drew heavily from the antisemitic Action Française and the writings of Frenchman Charles Maurras. Mariotte referred to Jews as a “cursed race” and argued that the “cosmopolitan” nature of the Jews put them at odds with the interests of the Portuguese nation. Another major Lusitanian Integralist figure was António Sardinha, who called for purifying the “Lusitanian race” from the “Hebraic infection” in texts such as “O Valor da Raça” (The Valor of the Race). In 1923, the antisemitic hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was translated into Portuguese under the name Os Planos da Autocracia Judaica: Protocolos dos Sábios de Sião. Its publication provoked a public scare and “denunciations” of prominent Jewish individuals in Portugal. Even though there was never a large Portuguese Jewish community due to a decree in 1496 by King Manuel I requiring conversion to Catholicism or expulsion of the country’s Jewish population, this attitude of “preventative antisemitism” lasted long into Salazar’s regime. 

Portugal’s global empire at the beginning of the 20th century included East Timor, Portuguese India, Macau, and forts and plantations along the coasts of the African continent. Following the so-called “Scramble for Africa” between 1884 and 1914, when Europeans rushed to colonize the continent, this also included much of inland Angola and Mozambique. For nearly 400 years, up until the late 19th century, Portugal was top amongst colonizing nations to ship enslaved people across its maritime empire. The centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and brutal oppression of African and Indigenous people in the Portuguese colonies, set in place a system of racial superiority and forced labor that lasted until the fall of the Salazar dictatorship in 1974.

For much of the 20th century, continental Portugal and its colonial territories lived under the iron fist of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. His Estado Novo (New State, 1933 – 1974) based itself on an ideological combination of both fascist and Catholic traditionalist thought. This combination meant the Estado Novo was a far different form of fascism from its German and Italian counterparts. Salazar preferred a passive public with political control in the hands of the traditional elite, such as the Catholic Church, the military, and large landowners. While Portuguese citizens who supported the Nazis and Italian fascists were tolerated if they supported the regime, organized challenges to the regime, such as Rolão Preto’s Falangist group the Movimento Nacional-Sindicalista (National-Syndicalist Movement) and their “camisas-azuis” (blue shirts), were repressed. Despite staying neutral during WWII, the Estado Novo collaborated with the Nazis throughout the war by exporting goods and materials to the Axis powers. Although they had their differences, Salazar was an admirer of Mussolini and Hitler, and organized three days of national mourning after the latter’s death.

From 1945 to 1969, the Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado, more commonly referred to as PIDE, operated as the state secret police, and had the power to repress any and all resistance to the Salazar regime. Anyone suspected of being a communist or left-leaning was kidnapped, tortured, or killed by the PIDE. The Portuguese phrase “as paredes têm ouvidos” (the walls have ears) comes from this era, as the Portuguese were unable to speak freely anywhere in the country for fear of being killed or tortured. All publications were heavily censored to reflect the ideological tenets of the Salazar regime.

The rights of minorities under the Estado Novo were extremely limited. Salazar’s “naturalist” conception of society led him to believe that women only served to maintain “family life.” In the Constitution of 1933, “citizens” were considered equal “save only the distinction due to women by reason of their nature and in the interests of the family.” Immigrants were seen by Salazar as groups who would diminish the “national spirit” and were turned away. The Portuguese state refused to help any Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust during the war, and the state dismantled clandestine networks creating falsified passports for them. Life in the Portuguese colonies was also incredibly violent and repressive; when rebellions broke out in the post-war era, the Portuguese state responded by mobilizing tens of thousands of Portuguese from the mainland, and violently repressed both those in the rebellious armed forces fighting for independence and civilians. Even so, at home, Salazar promoted “Luso-Tropicalism,” a false belief that argued that the Portuguese empire was a “kinder,” multicultural alternative to the other European powers. This of course ignored the history of atrocities, forced labor, and racial hierarchy that occurred in Portuguese colonial rule, which was ignored domestically in favor of glorifying the country’s maritime explorers and their “discoveries.”

The economic organization of the Estado Novo was corporatist, with a handful of individuals holding much of the property in a monopolistic fashion. While there was economic growth in Portugal during this time, economic inequality meant that most of these gains went to political elites close to Salazar. Up until the 1974 revolution, Portugal had the highest level of illiteracy, infant mortality, and the lowest living standards in Western Europe. Reporting from 1962 states that the population was “underfed, undereducated, underemployed, and underpaid.” Emigration was a common way to avoid political persecution and find better opportunities abroad. “Stable politics, not growth” was Salazar’s priority.

Despite the suffering of the population, Salazar was extremely hesitant to reform the state, which he saw as the path to subversion. “Stand firm, stand firm!,” he stated to his supporters in Lisbon in 1959 when faced with growing protests against the regime in Portugal and abroad, “That is all that is needed for the storm to subside and for justice to be done to us.” Moreover, it was widely believed that even if there were trouble in Portugal, the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco would send in troops to help repress any revolutionary activity. However, this never came to fruition, and the Estado Novo was brought to an end during the Movimento dos Capitães (Movement of Captains) on April 25, 1974, fomented by disaffected members of the armed forces and veterans of the colonial wars, during the Carnation Revolution.

The fall of the Salazar dictatorship brought about a new era for the Portuguese far-right. In the immediate aftermath of the April 25th revolution, several far-right groups organized separately from each other with the primary objectives of defending the Portuguese empire and opposing the communist factions of the Carnation Revolution. These groups included the national revolutionary party Movimento Federalista Português-Partido Do Progresso (Portuguese Federalist Movement – Party of Progress), the Catholic Salazarists with the Movimento Popular Português (Popular Portuguese Movement), the Partido Trabalhista Democrático Português (PTDP) (Portuguese Democratic Labor Party), the fascist Movimento de Acção Portuguesa (MAP) (Portuguese Action Movement) made up of former members of PIDE and Portuguese Legion, the Partido da Democracia Cristã (PDC) (Christian Democracy Party), and the Partido Nacionalista Português (PNP) (Portuguese Nationalist Party), formed by elements of the former Estado Novo and Portuguese Legion. These initial fragmented factions on the post-revolution far right were quickly rendered illegal and repressed by the military after they supported the counterrevolutionary coup attempt by António de Spínola on September 28, 1974.

With support for far-right parties falling after the repression of these initial counter-revolutionary groups, some turned to terrorism. The “Hot Summer of 1975” was a period immediately following their repression when three main far-right groups, the Exército Libertação de Portugal (ELP) (Liberation Army of Portugal), Plano Maria da Fonte (Plan of Maria da Fonte), and the Movimento Democrático de Libertação de Portugal (MDLP) (Democratic Movement For The Liberation Of Portugal) organized terrorist attacks on supporters of the revolution, primarily communists.

For the rest of the 20th century, the radical right was a marginal force in Portuguese politics. In the 1980 elections, a brief coalition between the Partido da Democracia Cristã (PDC) (Christian Democratic Party), the Movimento Independente para a Reconstrução Nacional (MIRN) (Independent Movement for National Reconstruction) led by Salazar loyalist and Luso-Tropicalist General Kaúlza de Arriaga, and the Frente Nacional (National Front), formed by national revolutionary and pro-Salazar Manuel Maria Múrias, attempted to revive far-right politics under the new republic, but failed miserably, earning only 0.4 percent of the vote. Another unsuccessful project was the Luso-Tropicalist and Salazar nostalgic party Força Nacional-Nova Monarquia [National Strength – New Monarchy], which sought to be an umbrella organization for right-wing nationalists of all types (akin to France’s Front National political party). 

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Portuguese far right underwent a transformation that saw it replace much of its Salazarist influences with ethnonationalism and reorient itself around many of the same issues as the broader European far right. Decolonization, and an increase in immigration from former colonies, led to a transformation of the far right from being characterized by Luso-Tropicalism to being xenophobic and nativist in nature. This was especially pronounced among the “retornados,” (those who returned) from Portuguese-speaking Africa and native white Portuguese upset with the increasing multiculturalism in the cities. Many young militants from this generation ended up joining new far-right groups such as the Portuguese ethnonationalist group Movimento de Acção Nacional (MAN), and racist subcultures imported from the U.S. and U.K., such as racist skinheads and the white supremacist movement.

Since the turn of the millennium, the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR) (National Renewal Party) has been the primary far-right party. This party balanced the factions of the old Salazarists and the new ethnocentrist right to form the ultra-nationalist and anti-democratic faction in Portugal prior to the arrival of Chega in 2019. On the surface, PNR leader José Pinto-Coelho used populist rhetoric in an attempt to mainstream his racist beliefs, but the party’s lack of a charismatic front man meant that they were unsuccessful in translating their polarizing rhetoric into votes. Moreover, the party’s connection to the infamous neo-Nazi Mario Machado and the Portuguese Hammerskins through the short-lived Frente Nacional (National Front) (2004-2008) tarnished the image of the party in a way that it  never recovered from.

In Portugal today, there is a clear internationalization trend among far-right elements. Where once National Socialism, allegiance to the Salazarist regime, or Luso-Tropocalist visions of the Portuguese empire dominated much of the post-April 25th far right, today, the Portuguese far right increasingly pulls from the French neo-fascist (Movimento Social Nacionalista), Italian neo-fascist (Escudo Identitário/Força Nova), French Identitarian (Portugueses Primeiro/Escudo Identitário), and even American white supremacist (Proud Boys Portugal) movements. While not as influential as with their French counterparts, the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, alleging a plot by “elites” or “globalists” to “replace” the native Portuguese population with a foreign one, has also taken hold in parts of the Portuguese far right.

The Portuguese far right is increasingly dominated by the far-right party Chega (Enough), led by the charismatic populist leader André Ventura. Since they seated their first MP in 2019, the party has worked to poison the national discourse with racist, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-immigrant, and anti-Roma rhetoric. Chega, which on its face resembles the typical populist far-right parties across Europe, is also the common vector for more extreme movements on the Portuguese far right, including nationalists, Identitarians, conspiracists, white supremacists, Salazar nostalgists, Christian nationalists, and others who support authoritarianism. Chega’s support amongst the Portuguese population has skyrocketed since 2019, and recent polls place them in a not-so-distant third place (around 13 percent of the vote as of June 2023). For most of the post-revolutionary era, Portugal was seen by many observers as an exceptional case of a country without a major populist far-right party, but the quick ascension of Chega is a reminder that no country is ever truly immune to exclusionary, demagogic forces, and tiny far-right parties can quickly expand their base of support.

Like in many other countries, the recent pandemic led to the blossoming of far-right conspiracist and antigovernment movements, appearing in opposition to the state’s imposition of public health measures. Now that the pandemic has largely subsided, many of these groups have moved into the orbit of other far-right groups such as Chega, and the National Renewal Party, recently renamed Ergue-Te (Stand Up). 

In 2021, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights released a memorandum indicating that “racism in the police remains an issue of deep concern” in Portugal. The memorandum also pointed to Portugal’s “alarmingly high” level of violence towards women, primarily in the form of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as a rise of “racially motivated hate crimes and hate speech” towards people of African descent. It concluded, “Further efforts are also necessary to tackle racist bias against people of African descent inherited from the colonial past and historical slave trade.” There has also been considerable harassment of the Portuguese anti-racist organization SOS Racismo and their leader Mamadou Ba by the far right in recent years, including by racist skinheads. Statistics also show that despite making up a fraction of a percent of the Portuguese population, anti-Roma sentiment remains prevalent in Portugal, and makes its way into the rhetoric of far-right groups including Chega.

What follows is by no means a comprehensive list of all far-right extremist groups in Portugal, especially concerning newly formed groups without a large presence in Portuguese politics, and those that have gone underground to avoid actions from the state. Groups that solely exist online are excluded from the scope of this report. An asterisk indicates a headquarters chapter of an organization.

Portuguese Far-right Hate and Extremist Groups by Ideology

Portugal Group Descriptions

Active Club Portugal

Location:  No Headquarters

Ideology: Neo-Nazi

Active Club Portugal is the Portuguese branch of the neo-Nazi Active Club network that is present in several countries. The network began around 2021, largely inspired by American Robert Rundo, founder of the neo-Nazi California-based Rise Above Movement. Rundo first introduced the idea of “Active Clubs” in late 2020, and by the following year, he and Denis Kapustin (aka Denis Nikitin), a Russian neo-Nazi and founder of the white nationalist clothing brand “White Rex,” began co-hosting a podcast titled “Active Club Podcast.”

Their goal was to inspire other white supremacists to create their own local clubs and develop the “spirit of the warrior” through mixed martial arts (MMA) training and the “preservation of European heritage.” Active Club members view themselves as preparing for an ongoing war against governments that exist to destroy the white race. The clubs engage in MMA training, and also spread white supremacist propaganda. They often gather clubs from various countries to take part in MMA fights. The Portuguese group is small, consisting of somewhere between 4 and 10 members, but has connections to the larger Active Club network.

Until early 2023, the group had an active Instagram account that was taken down. Their activities are documented on international Active Club Telegram channels and there are pictures of them with Escudo Identitario sympathizers, signifying a possible path for recruitment and support of the Portuguese club. 

Alternativa Democrática Nacional (ADN) (National Democratic Alternative)

Location: Lisbon

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

The Alternativa Democrática Nacional (ADN) (National Democratic Alternative) is a far-right, anti-establishment party legalized in 2021. It emerged from the Partido Democrático Republicano (PDR) in the context of the pandemic and was formed by a number of former members of Chega following a split between that party’s “mainstream” and more conspiracist wing. Miguel Dams de Carvalho and Jorge Rodrigues de Jesus joined ADN after being tossed from Chega. Patrícia Sousa Uva, a founder of Chega, and former Chega militant Lucinda Ribeiro, also joined ADN in 2022. Anabela Seabra, a former mayor and vaccine conspiracist, and José Manuel Castro, lawyer for the most prominent Portuguese neo-Nazi Mário Machado, have also campaigned for ADN. Ideologically, the party primarily pushes conspiracy narratives alleging there is something afoot with “conspiring elites” in the government, which they consider a dictatorship, and the “LGBT lobby.” 

Most of their momentum came from their opposition to health measures during the COVID pandemic. Here is how they describe their party’s concerns: “We are fighting on all fronts, corruption, the programmed inflation of the globalists, the destruction of education, pedophilia, the destruction of the family, the destruction of our heritage and our history. If you see yourself in these struggles that are decimating society as we’ve always known it, join us on social media.” The party’s opposition to the health measures put in place during the pandemic were driven by fear of a state “dictatorship.” 

For several months, prominent conspiracy theorist Rui Da Fonseca E Castro, now with Habeas Corpus, held the post of secretary general of the organization, but disaffiliated himself over the party’s insufficient attention to another conspiracy theory he favors, “the issue of the Freemasonry lobbying.” The ADN sees itself in opposition to “the LGBT lobby.” It is also strongly against rights for the transgender community.  ADN president Bruno Fialho compares the “LGBT lobby” to neo-Nazis, Freemasons, and Opus Dei “lobbies,” saying, “In this sense, I clarify that at ADN we are against all lobbies that may negatively influence the lives of the Portuguese, whether they are LGBT, Neo-Nazis, Freemasons, Opus Dei or others, but we reject discrimination against citizens on any pretext, without a legal or ethical basis.” 

Due to the organization’s extremism, members of the European Democratic Party asked for the ADN to be expelled from their faction in their European Parliament. At a 2023 party conference, Rui Castro, the ex-secretary general of ADN, expressed “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory-related sentiments. He said, “A plan is being implemented which is the repopulation of Portugal by people from different parts of the world. One of the consequences of this repopulation by foreigners is the increase in crime. The repopulation of the national territory can only be done with more Portuguese, without replacing our population in Portugal.” 

Correction: A previous version of this report erroneously stated that Rui Da Fonseca E Castro had held the post of secretary general “for several years”. Rui Da Fonseca E Castro was general-secretary from February 11th to April 4th 2023

Associação Portugueses Primeiro (Portuguese First Association)

Location:  No Headquarters

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

Associação Portugueses Primeiro (P1º) (Portuguese First) is an Identitarian political organization and the cultural wing of Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR, Ergue-te!). Identitarianism is a white nationalist ideology that argues against non-white immigrants in European countries and often alleges that the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy is occurring, where “globalists” (sometimes understood as being Jews) are blamed for importing people of color into what they define as traditionally white countries. P1 was formed following the September 2015 rally at the Assembly of the Republic against the reception of refugees by members of the Facebook group “Imigrantes Não Obrigado” (Immigrants, No Thank You), and became for some time the only Identitarian group in the country following the dissolution of Causa Identitária in 2010. Cláudia Ferreira Gomes and Rui Amiguinho first registered the organization under the name Apostar na Identidade – Associação de Iniciativa Cívica (Betting on Identity – Civic Initiative Association), later changing the name to an old PNR slogan, “Portugueses Primeiro,” or “Portuguese First.”

Another founding member was Nelson Dias da Silva, who became the group’s first spokesperson, before leaving to take the same position with Chega. Many of the group’s members come from other extremist groups, including members of the racist skinhead group, Portugal Hammerskins. The youth wing of P1 is the Jovens Portugueses Primeiro (Young Portuguese First), though it is not clear whether this group is still active as of mid-2023. The group frequently organizes street protests and other forms of protest, such as their “Lisbon don’t be French” (Lisboa não sejas francesa) march (a play on the famous Amália Rodrigues song of the same name which calls on Lisbon to remain authentically Portuguese) in 2018, and has been meeting with the SEF (immigration and border control agency) in order to lobby them to be more restrictive on immigration and citizenship matters. P1 is strongly anti-Muslim. In 2018, militants from P1, among them João Martins and João Saraiva, dumped pig’s blood on a site where a mosque was being built in the Mouraria area of Lisbon. While they do not mention it by name, they propagandize the ideas of the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

Their website reads, “Today the Portuguese people, together with their European brethren, face the greatest threat in their history: the invasion and colonization of the Continent by peoples from all corners of the world, a product of globalization which, in turn, is the doctrinal expression of stateless financial capitalism. In this reality, Europe is confronted with the sub-cultural imperialism of the United States, as well as with the population and religious expansionism of totalitarian Islam.” P1 is also strongly anti-immigrant, referring to the current Portuguese nationality law as a “Trojan horse in the middle of Europe.” The group supports an immigration policy that bans family reunification in its entirety, and is based on “Jus Sanguinis,” meaning no one born outside of Portugal, and only those whose parents were born in Portugal, can have citizenship, thus removing the ability of foreigners to gain Portuguese citizenship through naturalization. Moreover, they propose an “elimination of ‘ethnic stores’” that they claim “swarm in large cities, destroy local businesses, practice tax evasion and function as centers of support for illegal immigration and money laundering.” During a Chega convention in September 2020, Associação Portugueses Primeiro member Rui Roque proposed a motion to remove the ovaries of women who have abortions. P1 is also against what they refer to as “gender ideology,” which is essentially a code word for LGBTQ+ rights of various sorts. In April 2018, P1 members attended a conference with the Portuguese Identitarian group Escudo Identitario and the Italian neo-fascist group CasaPound. 

Blood and Honour (B&H) Portugal

Location:  Lisbon

Ideology: Neo-Nazi

Blood and Honour (B&H) Portugal is the country’s official B&H chapter, part of the decentralized neo-Nazi movement originating in the United Kingdom. The Portuguese chapter was created in 1998 by members of the group Ordem Lusa (Portuguese Order) with the sponsorship of neo-Nazis from Spain. Miguel Temporão, who had been sentenced to two years in prison for voluntary bodily harm during the attack on the Socialist Revolutionary Party headquarters in 1989, founded B&H Portugal in 1998. B&H Portugal follows the tenets of National Socialism and are nostalgic for Hitler’s Third Reich. 

In their very first fanzine in October 2004, the group praised Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1941. The group largely focuses on recruiting members and organizing white power concerts in Porto. B&H Portugal has historically been an intense rival of the Hammerskin Nation in Portugal, founded by prominent neo-Nazi Mário Machado, due to their competition within the skinhead movement, disagreements over supporting the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR), and Machado’s attempts to co-opt and eliminate other far-right factions. Europol’s 2021 Terrorism Situation and Trend report cited the Escudo Identitário and their neo-Nazi partners Blood & Honour as groups of interest due to their protestsagainst government health measures during the pandemic.

Chega! (Enough!)

Location: Lisbon

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

Founded in 2019, Chega! (Enough!) is the main far-right political party in Portugal, and as of this writing, the third most represented party in the national parliament. Since the fall of former dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s Estado Novo in 1974, there was no significant presence in the national legislature of a far-right party until the appearance of Chega. Its rise has been accompanied by a significant increase in hate speech, and far-right street mobilization. The party is led by the charismatic, populist leader André Ventura. The party is highly centralized around Ventura and the Constitutional Court has even rejected Chega’s statutes several times for excessively concentrating the power in the party president’s hands. Chega is an extremely anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim party. 

Ventura believes that “growing illegal immigration … destroys Europe.” Following the Islamic extremist terrorist attack in Nice in July 2016, Ventura called for “the drastic reduction of the Islamic presence in the European Union.” Ventura has given speeches about a “demographic substitution” allegedly happening in Europe, and specifically referenced the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory during a Identity and Democracy (ID) group congress that took place in Lisbon in November 2023. There is also a special hatred of the Roma people in Portugal by Ventura and other party members. The party claims that the Roma are “a serious public safety problem,” “live almost exclusively on State subsidies,” and are “above the law.” 

In 2022, Ventura accused the Roma of being “criminals” and “abusing social benefits.” In the context of the first wave of the pandemic, Ventura argued in favor of a “specific confinement plan for the gypsy community,” despite the  clear constitutional and human rights concerns. In 2017, Ventura falsely blamed a Roma family for attacks at the Hospital de Beja, and was forced to pay a fine of about 3,000 euros. The court ruled that Ventura “had the purpose of offending to humiliate people of gypsy ethnicity, enhancing stigmatization and prejudice against the community.” The Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination (CICDR) has fined Ventura several times for discriminatory comments about the Roma population. 

During a Chega convention in September 2020, Rui Roque, previously of the PNR, and in parallel, a member of Associação Portugueses Primeiro, proposed a motion to remove the ovaries of women who have abortions which failed in a 38-216 vote. Following the media frenzy after this vote, Rui Roque was “suspended indefinitely” in March 2021, but remained an active member and helped in the creation of three other motions for the party. After his so-called suspension In late 2021, Rui Roque rose in the ranks of the party and was permitted to run as a List A candidate for delegate for Faro where he was elected, and was chosen to be a National Councilor to the IV and V party congresses.

They have proposed prison sentences of two to five years for people filming the police, especially during cases related to “ethnic or racial minority groups.” Chega frequently speaks of a conspiracy to ban the party, which is a possibility as there have been calls for the party to be banned for being a racist organization which embodies fascist ideology. Chega supporters have carried banners with “All Lives Matter,” a racist play on “Black Lives Matter,” and called the racism issue “a distraction,” and used hand symbols similar to the Nazi salute. 

Over the years, Chega has had amongst its ranks many white supremacists, Identitarians and neo-Nazis. During the pandemic, Chega members and supporters spread disinformation from the anti-vax and COVID denialist group Médicos pela Verdade (Doctors for Truth). The party pushes other conspiracy theories as well. Chega members republished a letter of a complaint that Portuguese QAnon believers sent to the attorney general’s office regarding computer files that the police seized from hacker Rui Pinto, claiming that they contained information regarding pedophile rings among the political elite in Spain and Portugal. 

The Chega party believes that there is a “Cultural Marxist” plot, an idea advanced by American white supremacists, to change society and destroy European civilization by imposing a pro-LGBTQ+ culture on Portuguese society. They also advocate against so-called “gender ideology,” a euphemism for LGBTQ+ rights. Showing his disregard for many Portuguese, on several occasions, Ventura has claimed that he would not be a president for all Portuguese citizens, but instead only the “good Portuguese,” a reference to those not living off of subsidies from the state. The official newsletter of Chega is the Folha Nacional.

Chega Juventude (Chega Youth)

Location:  Lisbon,* Coimbra, Porto

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

Chega Juventude (Chega Youth) is the official youth branch of the far-right party Chega! Rita Matias, a Chega MP from the Identitarian faction of the party, heads Chega Juventude. While many of the beliefs of the youth branch do not differ much from the main party, they do have more radical members. Some have supported white supremacy, misogyny, praised the Salazarist regime, and advocated for fascism. Francisco Araujo, leader for the Porto chapter, is a case in point. On Twitter, Araujo quote tweeted an image of a Portuguese soldier, being controlled by a Soviet soldier and a banker, who stabs another soldier in the back. A racist depiction of a person of African descent fires at the soldier. The depiction reads “25th of April – Treason,” referring to when the Salazar regime ended. Araujo wrote in response to his retweet, “It’s been 48 years since: 1) Masonry has returned carte blanche; 2) We are under the occupation of foreign globalist interests 3) We were betrayed by soldiers with financial interests 4) We chose demographic suicide and economic subjugation,” the latter being a not so subtle reference to the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. Araujo is not simply a rank-and-file member, but rather a major part of the Juventude Chega leadership, regularly taking part in events across the country and speaking at official Chega conferences. In January 2023, he gave a speech to the national leadership at the 5th party Congress in Santarém which featured high ranking members of European far-right parties, including Slovkian Boris Kollar (SME Rodina), Belgian Tom van Grieken (Vlaams Belang), Dutchman Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom), and Frenchman Jordan Bardella (National Rally, RN). 

Other members have a clear sympathy for fascism and anti-democratic belief systems. João Antunes of the Coimbra branch has taken pictures in front of murals reading “You are a fascist and didn’t even know it.” In his Twitter background, he photoshopped himself into a picture next to American white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. And he’s learned from his American friends, having tweeted on “the absolute state of North American cuck-servatives,” the latter being a term originating in the U.S. and used against conservatives who banned Nick Fuentes from CPAC 2023. Many members of Chega Juventude are sympathetic to former dictator Salazar’s regime. On Salazar’s birthday, several members posted tweets that memorialized the late-dictator in a positive light. Chega Juventude members also serve as conduits to other extreme-right political parties. For example, João Antunes of the Coimbra branch of Chega Juventude has been photographed with José Pinto Coelho, president of the extreme-right party Ergue-Te (Rise Up).

Correction: A previous version of this report erroneously stated that Twitter removed the tweet in question. Twitter hid the tweet after our researcher had reported it, but did not remove it from the site. Twitter sent an email stating that the tweet did not break Twitter’s terms of service

Clube Étnico Portuguez

Location:  Lisbon

Ideology: White Nationalist

The new white nationalist group Clube Étnico Portuguez (CEP, Portuguese Ethnic Club) for men, founded and led by Vasco Bettencourt and Bernardo de Abreu (also Bernando Abreu), overlaps with the Reconquista movement. Abreu, who goes by the username “Sebastião” online (@TintoLusitano) and Vasco Bettencourt (@sou_lusus on Telegram) both appear to be helping to organize the upcoming Reconquista congress on October 21, 2023. 

While the club is based on ethno-nationalistic principles, the organizers suggest members not discuss politics or ideology in order to avoid conflicts. Instead, members are “united in the group” by the fact that they “are of the same race,” as one member put it. The goal is to create a “fraternity of men with an identitarian conscience,” and the group posts images that glorify strong, athletic white men in a fascistic style. The symbol of the CEP consists of a red Cross of Christ and a white Celtic cross, both symbols used by the far right in Portugal, although some members have taken issue with the Celtic cross for it being too “Anglo-Saxon.”

The CEP is primarily involved in athletics, but also has interests in reading, chess, and cultural activities. In their online forum, the group votes on the activities that they would like to organize. Group members also have access to an online library of far-right literature, and even a private social network “Agora” (Now). They are particularly interested in tracing the genealogical history of the Aryan and Portuguese “race,” as well as debating questions of religion. They debated whether “Christianity or Paganism” better served the nationalist cause, for example.

Among the requirements for joining is to be “the son of Portuguese parents,” complete a task of running (or walking) “10 thousand meters,” and agree to follow the rules and code of conduct of the club, which is “confirmed” during an interview with Bettencourt. While exceptions are allowed in the case of the first rule if one parent is Portuguese and the other is European, women are fully excluded from joining the group, and a member was ejected for allegedly “owning a bar for homosexuals.” Another chat participant speaking Brazilian Portuguese was seen as an “infiltrator” by the members.

While most participants attempt to remain anonymous, the club’s several Telegram channels are open to the public, where the organizers publish their running results and their names. The group’s Strava accounts, an app where members recorded their 10K runs, are also public. With this information, it was possible, with other social media account information, to pinpoint CEP’s recruits. Most have been identified by GPAHE and exhibit various signs of extremism. Recent recruits include a member of the Portugal Active Club, another who uses an account by the name of “Tusto” with a picture of the British fascist Oswald Mosely. On Twitter, he goes by the handle @Tusto_1488 (1488 is a neo-Nazi signifier). Another’s Instagram account includes an iron cross on his profile, and has pictures that indicate that at one point, he was a member of the Portuguese armed forces. Another calls LGBTQ+ peoplepedophiles” and another on Telegram said he “busy in Aljubarrota killing Spaniards.” Chat logs and other evidence also show that at one point, Reconquista organizer, and Chega member Daniel Leal (Albufeira, Faro) expressed interest in CEP. Leal was a delegate to the 5th Chega Convention, and host of the short-lived YouTube channel Culturalmente Deslocado (Culturally Displaced). He was active at both Reconquista anti-immigration protests where he gave anti-immigrant speeches and led the group in chants. 

Habeas Corpus

Location:  No Headquarters

Ideology: Conspiracy

Habeas Corpus (HC) is a conspiracist organization and movement founded by charismatic former judge and former Secretary General of the Alternativa Democrática Nacional (National Democratic Alternative) party Rui Pedro Fonseca Nogueira da Fonseca e Castro. It was launched in 2020 during the pandemic and subsequent vaccine roll-out. Rui Pedro Fonseca Nogueira da Fonseca e Castro is known for his wild conspiracy theories about growing authoritarianism that accompanied the COVID vaccine rollout, and is obsessed with conspiracy theories involving the Masons who “control the government.” 

Rui da Fonseca e Castro has advocated for “identify[ing] its members” and “confiscating its assets.” Habeas Corpus began as an off-shoot of the Spanish group “Médicos por la Verdad” (Doctors for the Truth), a COVID conspiracy group, that led to Rui da Fonseca e Castro’s “Juristas pela Verdade,” (Lawyers for the Truth), which was later replaced by the Facebook-organized group “Habeas Corpus.” Though the group has no identifiable primary location, and much of their organizing happens online, Habeas Corpus supporters do regularly gather for protests and other activities that are documented on their Telegram channel and in YouTube videos. The health measures put in place during the pandemic are seen as evidence of the diabolical nature of the “totalitarian” regime. In August 2021, Rui da Fonseca e Castro filed a criminal complaint for “crimes against humanity” against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and the Government for the healthcare restrictions. 

He blamed his lack of success with the complaint on a judiciary “captured by an occupying Regime and integrated by a parasitic elite controlled by Freemasonry.” He also argues these elite groups “control” the media, stating: “Who has free access to the regime’s propaganda media? Freemasonry.” Habeas Corpus adherents are also believers in Pizzagate and QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories of pedophilia rings among the Portuguese elite. Rui da Fonseca e Castro has called President of the Assembly of the Republic Ferro Rodrigues a “pedophile,” which led Ferro Rodrigues to be verbally attacked by protesters while having lunch in Lisbon. This resulted in Rui da Fonseca e Castro being criminally prosecuted for defamation. 

In 2021, protests took place during an administrative hearing of Rui da Fonseca e Castro and turned violent between protesters and police. Inside, during the hearing, Rui da Fonseca e Castro ranted about the evil motivations of the government to impose health restrictions, the “magnetic” characteristics of the vaccine, and the “corruption” of pharmaceutical companies that created vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson. The case resulted in Rui da Fonseca e Castro no longer being able to practice law. Members also believe in the Great Reset conspiracy theory, which alleges that a global elite is using the pandemic to dismantle capitalism and enforce radical social change. 

Ergue-Te (Rise Up)/Partido Nacional Renovador (National Renewal Party, PNR)

Location: Lisbon

Ideology: White Nationalist, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim, Antigovernment, Conspiracy

The Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR) is the most enduring far-right party in the history of the Portuguese Second Republic. Though it has never reached higher than one percent in terms of vote share in any national election, it has been around for nearly two decades. PNR was formed from the ashes of the center-left Partido Renovador Democrático after it was infiltrated and taken over by far-right factions from the Aliança Nacional (National Alliance). Seeking to become an official political party that could unify the fragmented Portuguese far right in the 1990s, António da Cruz Rodrigues, José Pinto-Coelho, and Luís Paulo Henriques created the Aliança Nacional, but failed to officially register the party due to an inability to gather enough signatures. 

In order to circumvent the rules on party certification, the group took up a novel strategy and infiltrated the Democratic Renewal Party in 1999, and pressured then-party leader Manuel Vargas Loureiro to hand over leadership of the party, which occurred at the 1999 national convention. When Cruz Rodrigues became the next president, the new changes were submitted to the Constitutional Court, and the name was changed to Partido Nacional Renovador. The PNR seeks to “renew the message and image of nationalism” in Portugal and defend the nation from the “great evils,” meaning globalism and multiculturalism. They see a threat from “suicidal immigration policies” and “invasive immigration” that endangers the identity and culture of the Portuguese nation. 

The party views increased immigration as an “authentic population replacement,” thereby echoing the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. From their platform: “Mass immigration constitutes a veritable invasion and translates into a threat to Portugal’s identity, sovereignty, security and future survival.” They propose to amend the Nationality Law to base it solely on ”Jus Sanguinis,” meaning by blood, which would limit nationality to those whose parents held citizenship. They also propose making immigration laws much more restrictive, to “reverse migratory flows,” remove dual citizenship for those not Portuguese “by blood,” and the repatriation of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of any crime, those who “do not integrate,” and those who “rely on social support as a way of life.” 

They also propose to ban the construction of mosques. The PNR believes that a secret conspiring class of “international financiers,” whom they designate the “New World Order,” exists and is secretly controlling political affairs in Portugal and destroying the nation. They identify these groups as the Masons, the Trilateral Commission, George Soros, and the Bilderberg Group and frequently reference them in their literature. The objective, they claim, is to create an “authoritarian world government” that will “replace national sovereignties.” The PNR is opposed to both liberals and the left in the Portuguese party system, as well as their positions on the climate, public health, the pandemic, LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, “gender ideology,” veganism, immigration, and multiculturalism. The PNR is supportive of former dictator Salazar and celebrates the day of the coup that brought Salazar to power on May 28, 1926. 

They refer to Salazar’s Novo Estado as the “forty-eight years of national glory.” In 2005, prominent neo-Nazi Mário Machado joined the PNR. Following his release from prison in 2002, Machado set himself on a mission to unite the fragmented elements of the Portuguese far right and create a disciplined organization that could be used for political and violent purposes alike. For the latter, Machado created the racist skinhead group, Portugal Hammerskins (PHS), and for the former, Machado created the Frente Nacional (National Front) whose mission it was to influence the leadership of the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR). Machado then joined the PNR with his hundreds of militants and formed an alliance with José Pinto-Coelho, allowing both to rise to the top of the party leadership. From that point, the Portugal Hammerskins (PHS) and Frente Nacional served as the defacto armed wing of the Partido Nacional Renovador, until Machado’s expulsion in 2014.

Escudo Identitário (Identitarian Shield)

Location:  Lisbon, Porto

Ideology: White Nationalist, Anti-Immigrant

Escudo Identitário (EI) is an Identitarian organization, inspired by the first such organization, Generátion Identitaire in France, that was created in 2017 with the intention of pushing back against the “Islamic invasion” of Europe. Identitarians are anti-immigrant and generally believe in the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, that alleges that white people are being “replaced” in their “home countries” by immigrants, refugees and people of color. EI was born in the aftermath of the Nova Portugalidade (NP) affair in 2017, when the FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa Student Association refused to allow  a presentation planned by Jaime Nogueira Pinto, and Rafael Pinto Borges, the head of Luso-Tropicalist Nova Portugalidade (NP) and a fan of former dictator Salazar. Far-right groups that protested the cancellation of the event decided they needed to create an organization with an explicitly ethnonationalist ideology that could appeal to younger generations. 

The group was founded by João Martins, a well-known extreme-right activist who was sentenced to 17 years in prison (but only served nine) for the 1995 murder of Alcindo Monteiro in Bairro Alto, Lisbon. He was part of a group of extremists who went into the streets to attack Black people in the 1990s and is known for founding two other far-right groups, Causa Identitário (Identitarian Cause) and the Portuguese cell of the neo-Nazi Misanthropic Division. Members of EI came from previously existing organizations, including the National Renovator Party (PNR) and the Associação Portugueses Primeiro (P1), as well as their accompanying youth organizations, with the help of veteran far-right activists João Martins (Causa Identitária) and Vítor Luís Rodrigues (Partido Nacional Renovador). EI is an anti-immigrant organization that also displays aspects of white nationalism. The Escudistas blame poverty and marginalization on immigration that is ‘threatening’ Portuguese identity. 

In July 2018, Escudistas left a banner at the top of the Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon, emblazoned with the slogan “Mass Migration = Invasion.” In terms of political strategy, they are primarily known for flash mob-style street actions, similar to those of Generátion Identitaire, as well as putting up posters, stickers, and banners that celebrate national holidays and Portuguese historical figures. They also organize conferences, such as Forum Prisma Actual (Current Prism Forum), where pro-AZOV Olena Semenyaka from the National Corps was a scheduled speaker, Os Nossos Caminhos (Our Paths), and other propaganda efforts. The spokeswoman for Escudo Identitário, Irene Sousa, has reportedly coordinated rallies in celebration of Portugal Day with Proud Boys Portugal Sergeant of Arms Ricardo Mota. 

In June 2021, the Escudistas gathered for the day of the “race” with members of the neo-Nazi skinhead group Blood & Honour Portugal, before both joined a Lisbon rally put on by the National Renewal Party. Europol’s 2021 Terrorism Situation and Trend report cited EI and their neo-Nazi partners Blood & Honour as groups of interest due to their having protested against government health measures during the pandemic. The group has links to other far-right extremists abroad. For example, in April 2018, Escudo Identitario attended a conference with the Associação Portugueses Primeiro and the Italian neo-fascist group CasaPound, and have gathered with CasaPound on many other occasions as well. The Escudistas have also expressed their support for Identitarian causes in France. 

Força Nova (New Force)

Location:  No Headquarters

Ideology: White Nationalist, Antisemitic

Força Nova (FN)(New Force) is a neo-fascist group inspired by the anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+ Italian group Forza Nuova, and the writings of esoteric Italian philosopher Julius Evola, who believed in extreme reactionary ideas, a return to monarchy, and had ties to Nazi Germany and Mussolini. FN was founded in early 2021 by Alexandre Santos, formerly of Resistência Nacional. Força Nova activists have participated in events with other far-right groups such as the Parti Nationaliste Français (PNF), Forza Nuova Italia, and the British National Party (BNP), which had deep ties to white supremacists in the UK and abroad. On their Facebook page, FN regularly posts fascist and antisemitic material. They also express considerable concerns that a “Great Replacement” is occurring by immigrants and minorities, and they share content claiming that minorities and immigrants are responsible for violent crime.

Movimento Social Nacionalista (Nationalist Social Movement)

Location:  Ovar, Porto

Ideology:  White Nationalist

The Movimento Social Nacionalista (MSN) (Nationalist Social Movement) is a small far-right movement that was created in 2015 based on the now defunct French neo-fascist group, French Mouvement d’Action Sociale (MAS). Ideologically, the group pushes third-position ideas, meaning it mixes in socialist economic appeals to the working class with nationalism and racism. MSN advocates an “ethno-pluralist” position on the question of immigration and multiculturalism, meaning they desire an ethnically-homogenous nation, and want immigrants, usually a reference to Black and Brown people, to stay in their countries of origin. 

Capitalism is critiqued from the position that it creates waves of immigration, and by promoting multiculturalism, and the political forces that support it, capitalism “destroys” the culture of a homogenous nation. Their slogan is, “Nação, Revolução, Socialismo” (Nation, Revolution, Socialism). They have also drawn their ideas from the French Nouvelle Droite, or New Right, thinkers, who opposed multiculturalism, capitalism, and democracy. MSN is primarily a street movement, and regularly organizes demonstrations with its several dozen members in Porto for certain public holidays of importance to the far right, such as Portugal Day and Restoration Day. They also join larger protests and leave posters and banners promoting their cause around the city. 

They were present at the 2023 “Regenerar Portugal” (Regenerate Portugal) event organized by Defender Portugal, where they distributed propaganda. Their fascist and neo-Nazi influences are obvious. During a December 2019 MSN demonstration at the Largo Dom João III for the day of restoration of national independence, António Soares, a prominent member, gave a speech in remembrance of “the fallen” and in defense of the Portuguese empire, while members of the MSN gave Nazi salutes. Their anti-immigrant positions are also clear, as they reject refugees in Portugal. They advocate for the withdrawal from the EU and NATO, and call for a creation of a “European Alliance of Free Nations” and a “special relationship with the countries it civilized in the past (meaning countries that were colonized).”

Portugal Hammerskins

Location:  Matosinhos, Porto

Ideology: Neo-Nazi

The Portugal Hammerskins (PHS) are the country’s official chapter of the American-based racist skinhead group, Hammerskin Nation. The Portugal Hammerskins were established by perhaps the best known Portuguese neo-Nazi Mário Machado, who intended for them to become a hegemonic force on the far-right of Portuguese politics. Following a release from prison in 2002, Machado set himself on a mission to unite the fragmented elements of the Portuguese far right and create a disciplined organization that could be used for political and violent purposes alike. For the latter, Machado created the Portugal Hammerskins (PHS), and for the former, Machado created the Frente Nacional (National Front), whose mission it was to influence the leadership of the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR). 

As happens in the U.S. between rival racist skinhead organizations, the Portugal Hammerskins have historically battled for control of the movement with their main rival, Blood & Honour Portugal. The groups have competed fiercely within the racist skinhead movement for members and dues. They’ve also had strong disagreements over support for the Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR) and Machado’s attempts to co-opt and eliminate other far-right factions. That fighting has largely subsided as of mid-2023, as the groups have divided up the country with the Hammerskins taking the north and Blood &Honour taking Lisbon and the South. In 2012, Machado was sentenced to 10 years in prison for grievous bodily harm, racial discrimination, blackmailing a public prosecutor and illegal weapon possession, in three separate cases. 

Multiple police investigations and witness testimony show that the Hammerskins, under Machado’s leadership, have been engaged in drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, arms trafficking, ethnic intimidation and attacks on other far-right groups. In 2022, Machado was given the right to leave Portugal to fight in Ukraine, even though he faces other charges. He returned after only a week. As of 2023, it is unclear how large the Portugal Hammerskins are. 

Proud Boys Portugal

Location:  Lisbon,* Algés, Amadora, Cascais, Oeiras, Sintra

Ideology:  White Nationalist, Anti-Woman

The Proud Boys Portugal are the official Portuguese chapter of the Proud Boys movement, founded in 2016 in America by the Canadian Gavin McInnes. The group is white supremacist and misogynistic and known for engaging in significant street violence and praising violence in general. Headquartered in the U.S., the group has spawned chapters in several countries and is listed as a terrorist entity in Canada. Its American-based Chairman Enrique Tarrio and several leaders were found guilty of seditious conspiracy in 2023 for their actions during the American January 6, 2021, Capitol Insurrection (It is unclear as of June 2023 if Tarrio still holds the top post given his incarceration). 

The Portuguese chapter was founded by Pedro Lopes in 2019 after a meeting with members of the Proud Boys Britannica. Lopes is reportedly a militant member of Chega. As with the main Proud Boys chapters in the U.S., the Portuguese branch considers itself a “fraternity” and a “brotherhood” based on white supremacist and masculine values. In 2021, the group was infiltrated by an investigative reporter from Setenta e Quatro, a Portuguese outlet, who went through the recruitment process and learned about the leadership and organizational structure. Since those reports, the group has been relatively inactive. 

The group does not have any social media accounts and does not speak with journalists, so there are few accounts of their activities as they operate clandestinely. The Portuguese chapter reportedly has links to both Chega and Escudo Identitário. While other international chapters have been responsible for substantial street violence, the Portuguese group has had a much lower profile, due to small numbers and a wish to avoid police interest. 

Reconquista (Reconquest)

Location:  Lisbon

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

Focused on “taking back” Portugal from the ethnically non-Portuguese and expelling foreigners is the new protest group, Reconquista (Reconquest). In Iberian history, the term Reconquista refers to the centuries-long effort to expel the Moors, who ruled the region for 800 years until they were finally defeated in 1492. Its first appearance was in June 2023 when the group’s leaders, Afonso Gonçalves, and Alexander Gazur, went to Evora to “invade and interrupt in a very aggressive way” the city’s yearly Pride Month event, “Pride dos pequeninos” (Pride of the little ones). 

Gonçalves attempted to disrupt the event for 10 to 15 minutes, shouting from a loudspeaker, but  a wall of police and Pride participants stopped him. Only “three to five” people gathered for the protest, but due to media coverage, his actions caught the eye of online supporters of the far-right political party Chega (Enough!), some of whom had harassed members of Evora Pride Month earlier in the week, and who expressed support for his actions. The new group produced a list of supporters and created Reconquista as a movement. 

By July 4, Gonçalves’ protest movement had momentum. His next demonstration, held under the slogan of “Não há Portugal B” (There is no Portugal B), a twist on the environmentalist slogan “there is no planet B,” at Praça Martim Moniz in Lisbon. On July 29, Reconquista gathered again at the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Service of Foreigners and Border, or SEF) office to protest its plans to regularize around 170,000 immigrants, who had been waiting in legal limbo to renew their residencies due to the pandemic. The plan did not entail bringing more immigrants into Portugal, but rather regularized those already in the country. That didn’t stop the new group from gathering in front of an empty SEF office in Lisbon to protest what they consider evidence of the “substitution of the population,” a phrase echoing the white nationalist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

Gonçalves is a white supremacist and misogynist who fashions himself as an authoritarian leader. He revels in descriptions of himself as “transphobic,” and proudly accepts the characterization that he is “ultranationalist, racist, and xenophobic.” Gonçalves is particularly known for his misogyny, posting bizarre rants about women’s right to vote, casual sex, and women sitting in public. He refers to women as “whores” and “cockroaches.” He has argued that women who get divorced should “not be entitled to receive money/goods” from their husbands and should be mandated to “pay for damages caused to the family.” He says abortions are a “crime against humanity” and has called for women who have the procedure to receive the death penalty. For Gonçalves, “non-traditional families” are an “aberration,” “80% of all divorces are initiated by women” and people of African descent are creating a “population replacement” of people of “native” European descent. He has argued that “African American men are 12x more likely to commit murder than white men.” His bigotry is so extreme that even Elon Musk’s Twitter, known for being lenient towards hateful accounts, permanently suspended both his main and backup accounts, in one instance for “abusive behavior.” 

The other founding member is far-right YouTuber Alexander Lima Gazur, a co-organizer and promoter of Reconquista protests. He is also a member of Chega and served as a delegate to the 5th National Convention from his native Viseu. Gazur is known for his antisemitism, pointing to “Jewish control” of the world. In response to the release of GPAHE’s Portugal country report, Gazur accused GPAHE of being “funded by [liberal philanthropist] George Soros,” a common antisemitic and conspiracist trope. Gazur is known for crude, racist comments. In response to a video on Twitter about the politicians Katar Moreira and Ossanda Liber, both of whom are of African descent, Gazur responded with a tweet saying that they were “both the same,” and an image of a Doge dog holding a bushel of cotton saying that they had “dropped this,” while using the n-word. Gazur believes that there is an ongoing “population substitution” of the Portuguese people, a reference to the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, and has argued that “deportation of all immigrants” who use the health service “for free” would solve “90% of all [the system’s] problems.” He has called for young people who participate in Pride events to be “arrested by the state.” On his Telegram channel, he regularly shares posts from American, Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes and neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin. After having his account restored once Elon Musk took over Twitter, Gazur’s account was again suspended.

Reconquista has a close, but sometimes contentious, relationship with Chega Juventude (Chega Youth). On the one hand, Chega Youth leaders have shown support for the new movement, such as Coimbra Chega Youth leader João Antunes who tweeted a picture posing with Gonçalves with the text “Rebuild Portugal #Reconquista.” Porto Chega Youth leader Francisco Araújo used his Telegram channel to promote their upcoming congress and convince his audience to buy tickets for the event. Other Chega Youth figures have participated in YouTube events with Gonçalves. At the same time, some Chega Youth members have been put off by Gazur’s and Gonçalves’ misogyny. João Antunes, who regularly defends the alleged human trafficker Andrew Tate, wrote in response to a video posted by Gazur of a video game character continuously beating a female character that “this does not represent my kind of right-wing.” Antunes also at one point felt obliged to defend women after Gonçalves stated that a “woman who does not arrive at marriage a virgin has no value as a wife.” Braga leader Joana Pinto Azevedo publicly denounced Gonçalves for his comments saying that “women should not have social networks/vote.”

The majority of Reconquista adherents are white males of Portuguese descent. Participants that could be identified by GPAHE from their Telegram channels are Nita, a “tradwife” who attended the demonstration at the SEF, Miguel Morato, a “nationalist skinhead” with ties to neo-Nazi Mario Machado’s channel “Racismo contra Europeus” (Racism Against Europeans) and who came to both the anti-Muslim demonstration and the SEF protest, and Carlos José Martelo Pagará, the far right Ergue-Te candidate for Evora in 2022 who appeared at the July 4 demonstration. White supremacist Chega member and Aveiro delegate to the 5th Chega convention Ricardo Camões Coutinho also participated in the demonstration.

More recently, Gonçalves has been planning the official launch of his group at a “congress” to be held in Lisbon on October 21, 2023, the day that King D. Afonso Henriques took Lisbon “from the Muslims.” He has chosen a phoenix for the group’s symbol and plans to have leaders of Chega Youth speak. The party platform calls for the mass deportation of non-European immigrants and the promotion of the return of Portuguese emigrants, ending legal abortion, ending no-fault divorces, banning “Marxist parties” and the promotion of feminism, and the “termination and expropriation of all institutes and organizations that promote hatred of Portugal.”

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