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GPAHE Unveils Extensive Profile of Far-Right Extremism in Brazil

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Today, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) released a critical report detailing the activities and ideologies of more than 20 far-right extremist groups operating within Brazil. This comprehensive analysis, “Far-Right Hate and Extremist Groups, Brazil,” (also available in Portuguese) offers a first-of-its-kind look into the complex network of organizations fostering ideologies that promote violence, discrimination, and division in the country, and seek to undermine a flourishing, multicultural democracy.

Comunicado de imprensa também disponível em português

Just as in the U.S., the far right poses a severe threat to Brazilian democracy, including through a direct attack on its federal buildings on January 8, 2023. On that day, activists, driven by anger over former President Jair Bolsonaro’s election defeat, stormed key buildings in Brasília, including the presidential palace and the Supreme Court. Bolsonaro’s supporters, furious over his 2022 presidential election loss and his unfounded claims of electoral fraud, carried out actions strikingly similar to the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

According to the report, a notable number of Brazilian groups blend various extremist ideologies, predominantly showcasing a mix of neo-Nazi beliefs, far-right nationalism, and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. The widespread acceptance of the Integralist movement, a unique Brazilian movement with historical roots in Italian fascism, underscores the deep-seated nature of extremist ideologies in Brazil. The report also highlights the existence of several groups explicitly demonizing LGBTQ+ communities, a frequent target of former President Bolsonaro, illustrative of broader and global far-right efforts to roll back rights and foster discrimination. Some groups also regularly advocate for “racial purity,” push anti-immigrant stances, and leverage conspiracy theories to galvanize support.

See list of groups by ideology.

Based on the report’s insights, far-right extremist groups are distributed throughout Brazil, with significant concentrations in major urban centers like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. These cities, being the most populous in the country, serve as strategic locations for such groups to garner support and influence. Among these groups, several have established political parties or factions within existing parties, leveraging political platforms to advance their ideologies. 

The report also uncovers various smaller groups and movements that have gained traction, particularly those promoting nationalism and anti-globalist sentiments. These factions often align with international far-right movements, indicating a global network of extremism. Notably, the report highlights groups misappropriating social justice causes to further their divisive agendas, posing a complex challenge to understanding and countering far-right extremism in Brazil. This intricate landscape of far-right groups in Brazil emphasizes the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address the spread of extremist ideologies and ensure the safety and unity of communities in Brazil and regionally. 

Connections between Brazilian and US extremist factions are evident in the political and ideological exchanges through platforms like CPAC, an American far-right conference now with a branch in Brazil run by one of Bolsonaro’s sons. CPAC features far-right figures from Brazil and other countries, including Trump family members, to push their anti-LGBTQ+ and other hateful ideas. This transnational interaction underscores the global nature of contemporary far-right movements, influencing both national and international political landscapes. Violent American neo-Nazi movements, including the Hammerskins, have also established a foothold in Brazil and are connected to violent hate crimes. 

“The breadth of far-right extremism in Brazil is alarming, revealing a deeply entrenched network of groups that not only challenge the country’s democracy but also its core values of diversity and inclusion. Our findings underscore the urgency for both national and international responses to counteract this rising threat,” said Wendy Via, GPAHE’s co-founder. As Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva said in a recent interview, the “extreme right wing” in Brazil represents an “international threat on the level of the loss of the Amazon – and therefore require[s] international collaboration and solidarity.”

Far-right Hate and Extremist Groups, Brazil is the eighth of a series of country reports released by GPAHE, and the first South American country. A report on hate and extremist groups in Mexico and Argentina will be released in the coming months, followed by additional countries later in the year.

“Brazil’s struggle with far-right extremism is a stark reminder of the global nature of this problem. This report highlights the critical need for cross-border collaboration to address the ideologies that fuel hate and division,” said GPAHE co-founder Heidi Beirich. “It’s essential for communities worldwide to understand and confront these movements to safeguard democracy and promote social harmony.”

For more information about this report, or to arrange an interview with Wendy or Heidi, the authors of the GPAHE report, please contact Kindred Motes at kindred@globalextremism.org.

2500 1667 Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
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