UN Receives Report On ‘Alarming’ Rise Of Neo‑Nazi Groups In Brazil


By Léo Rodrigues 

Brazil’s National Human Rights Council, linked to the Ministry of Human Rights, has shown concerns to the United Nations about the growth of neo-Nazi groups in the country over the last few years. The document classifies the current scenario as “alarming.”

In its report, the council gathers data from a number of surveys, including research by anthropologist Adriana Dias, who died last year. She found that neo-Nazi group cells surged by 270.6 percent in Brazil from January 2019 to May 2021, spreading across all regions of the country. The phenomenon is said to have been driven by the spread of hate speech and extremist narratives. Without punishment, they found ways to spread more easily. According to the study, Brazil had over 530 extremist groups at the beginning of 2022. Their members share a hatred of feminists as well as Jewish, black, and LGBTQIAP+ people.

The southern state of Santa Catarina is one of the most worrying. In the city of Blumenau alone, 63 neo-Nazi cells were mapped in Dias’s research.

Another survey was carried out by the Fiquem Sabendo agency. It shows that 159 inquiries were opened by the Federal Police between January 2019 and November 2020 into condoning Nazism. The figure covers less than two years and exceeds the total of 143 investigations opened over 15 years, 2003–2018.

The document highlights that 14,476 anonymous complaints were received in 2021 by the National Cybercrime Center, a channel maintained by NGO SaferNet, aided by the Federal Prosecution Service. There is also mention of the Jewish Observatory’s survey of anti-Semitic and related events that took place in the country between 2019 and 2022.

Some cases were described in which artifacts linked to Nazism were seized, including uniforms, weapons, and flags, as well as decorative articles with images like Hitler’s face and the swastika.

The council also draws attention to the rise in attacks on schools, pointing out that in several cases the attacker used neo-Nazi imagery. It cites, for example, the episode that took place in December 2022, when a 16-year-old student killed four people in schools in Aracruz, Espírito Santo state. He was wearing a military uniform and an armband with a Nazi symbol on it.

Prevention and redress

Created through a federal law in 2014, the National Human Rights Council is tasked with promoting and defending human rights in Brazil. It operates autonomously, even though it is linked to the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship. Of the 22 councilors, 11 are representatives of society, elected at a national meeting called by public notice. The other 11 are public officials.

The council expects the report to contribute to discussions at the 55th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, due to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, between the end of June and the beginning of July. On that occasion, a new edition of the report on global efforts to combat the glorification of Nazism will be presented by India’s Ashwini K.P., special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of bigotry.


Agência Brasil (ABr) is the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government. It is a part of the public media corporation Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), created in 2007 to unite two government media enterprises Radiobrás and TVE (Televisão Educativa).

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