Adjust size of text


Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

Neo-Nazi groups multiply in a more conservative Brazil

TJI Pick
Print this

Published: 16 June 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Brazilian police have investigated 21 cases of propagating Nazism this year, compared to one in 2018, the year ultra-right former president Bolsonaro was elected.

Last November, just hours before a social gathering for Haitian immigrants in the town of Itajai in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, event  organiser Andrea Muller received a chilling message.

"Cancel the Haiti exhibition or we will commit a massacre," read the subject line of the email.

"Santa Catarina is a land of WHITE PEOPLE, FOR WHITE PEOPLE," the anonymous sender wrote, signing off with the Nazi salute "SIEG HEIL."

Ultimately, the event went ahead without any problems and with police present. Yet the email, which police in Santa Catarina are still investigating, is indicative of a small but rising number of cases of neo-Nazism in Brazil that have increased as far-right politics flourished during former president Jair Bolsonaro's 2019-2023 term.

Brazil's Federal Police said the number of investigations opened into alleged incitement of neo-Nazism had jumped since 2019, with a "significant increase" this year.

Police said 21 probes into the alleged manufacture, sale, distribution or brandishing of swastikas "for the purpose of propagating Nazism" have been opened so far this year, up from just one in 2018, the year Bolsonaro was elected. Bolsanaro was unseated earlier this year by  Lula da Silva.

Some experts say those numbers fail to capture the nationwide scale of the problem. In April, a day after a 25-year-old man with an axe killed four children at a Santa Catarina kindergarten, Justice Minister Flavio Dino ordered police to probe neo-Nazi  organisations possibly operating across state lines. Perpetrators wore arm bands with Nazi swastikas in two previous school attacks this year in Brazil.


Neo-Nazi groups multiply in a more conservative Brazil (Reuters)

In first, EU to fine social media platforms for failure to remove antisemitic content
EU official Margaritis Schinas says the fight against antisemitism is a top priority and Israel is a key partner in this effort; Foreign Minister Eli Cohen says that the era of social media brings new challenges.

Protesters fly Nazi flags, DeSantis signs outside Disney World in Orlando (Ynet)
Demonstrators chant racist slogans as they display support for conservative Florida governor and presidential hopeful.

German soccer team with Jewish roots dating back to 1898 just made history (Haaretz)
Established as a Jewish sports club more than 120 years ago, these days Makkabi Berlin has prominent non-Jewish players – so why does it still face antisemitism?

Photo: A swimming pool featuring a swastika at a home in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site