Lima, Aug 25 (EFE).- Armed with fascist and colonial symbolism, far-right and ultra-conservative fringe groups in Peru are stoking frayed political tempers that have beset the nation since the divisive June presidential elections.
Since leftist Pedro Castillo took victory in a tight presidential run-off, these groups have taken to the streets calling for the annulment of thousands of votes that they claim were fraudulent, echoing the right-wing former candidate Keiko Fujimori.
With a sense of legitimacy due to this shared narrative with more mainstream parties on the Peruvian right, these far-right factions label Castillo a “communist” and a “terrorist.”
They do so through their legitimate right to protest but also with violent acts and threats against election officials, journalists and politicians.
Omar Coronel, a sociologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, said that although far-right groups are not new in Peru, this latest movement against so-called “cultural Marxism” has its roots between 2017-19, when protests against gender issues in schools emerged.
“In this context, as well as borrowing from the rhetoric of (Brazilian president, Jair) Bolsonaro and Donald Trump and other right-wing regional leaders, this alternative-right becomes attractive to them,” he told Efe.
“They seek to be proudly homophobic, racist and xenophobic.”
Members of the Patriotic Society of Peru are young but have one foot in the past. The extremist group, formed in 2018, rallies in the street with the Cross of Burgundy, similar to the one used by Carlists in Spain.
It’s co-founder Gustavo Mirano told Efe that flying this “Hispanicist” symbol promoted an “integrating vision” of Peru, encompassing its Incan, colonial and modern history.
“It is an exaltation not only of the Conquest (by Spain) but also the period that the Spanish kingdom integrated Peru as a viceroyalty,” he said.