Despicable nazis,SA style.

Matthew X profrv at
Fri May 14 10:28:05 PDT 1999

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (August 24, 2002 2:02 p.m. EDT) - Argentina has 
emerged as the location of choice for Web sites set up by the world's 
ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi political groups.

In recent years, race-hate groups in Europe and in other Latin American 
countries have come under increasing pressure to curtail their online 
activities. Authorities have dismantled some extremist sites, or pressured 
Web-hosting companies to close sites temporarily for posting offensive or 
illegal content.

Neo-Nazi groups experience few such problems in Argentina.

Aided by inexpensive high-speed Internet access and an outdated 
anti-discrimination law, race-hate groups from all over the 
Spanish-speaking world are making Argentina their virtual home base.

"The late 1990s saw the re-birth of neo-Nazi groups in Argentina, both in 
the real world and on the Internet," says Sergio Widder, Latin America 
representative for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights 
organization. "The ultra-right in Argentina is using the Internet to help 
create a neo-Nazi network in Latin America."

According to the Wiesenthal Center, the number of sites worldwide it deems 
"problematic" has grown to 3,000 today from one in 1995. Specific numbers 
for Argentina were unavailable.

The highest-profile site in Argentina is City of Freedom of Opinion, run by 
the neo-Nazi New Triumph Party (PNT). Its leader, Alejandro Biondini, 
appears at public meetings in SS-style uniforms, giving the Nazi salute. 
Set up as a modest online newspaper in 1997, the site has since mushroomed 
into a much-visited portal connecting more than 300 extreme right-wing 
groups in Europe and Latin America.

The site, in Spanish and other languages, boasts a news agency and a 
bulletin board for neo-Nazis. The PNT offers free e-mail and Web-hosting 
services for race-hate groups around the world. On the site, the PNT says 
it specifically offers hosting facilities to extremist groups whose Web 
sites have been prohibited or whose activities have been curtailed in other 

The portal allowed neo-Nazi groups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and 
Uruguay to plan a congress in April 2000, to be held in Chile on the 
anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday. The Chilean authorities eventually 
banned the meeting.

Numerous other Argentine race-hate and ultra-nationalist sites provide a 
regular channel of contact for extremists in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and 
Europe. Many glorify Germany's Nazi Party and Italy's fascism, championing 
the country's European roots, and lashing out against drug addicts, 
Marxists, Jews, and homosexuals.

One site, True Peace, set up by Carlos Torlaschi, president of the Group of 
Retired Admirals of Argentina, celebrates the military and police officers 
who killed some 30,000 Argentine citizens during Argentina's 1976-83 "dirty 
war" against suspected leftists.

Argentina is an ideal online location for many extremist groups. Despite 
the country's profound economic slump, Internet penetration remains one of 
the highest in Latin America, and super-fast Internet access is widely 
available. Both factors are a legacy of the decade in which Argentina's 
currency was fixed at parity with the U.S. dollar, making the import and 
use of technology inexpensive for Argentines.

But since currency devaluation in January, the peso has plummeted by some 
70 percent against the dollar, making Argentina a cheap place for foreign 
groups to set up hosting facilities.

Furthermore, a 1997 decree issued by then-President Carlos Menem explicitly 
stated the government's refusal to interfere with production, creation, and 
dissemination of information distributed on the Internet. The decree 
guaranteed Web sites freedom from censorship.

Anti-discrimination advocates have found it impossible to use the country's 
anti-discrimination law, passed in 1988, as it does not cover Internet 

"We could try to act against the companies hosting these sites, but the 
legislation just isn't there to take action against them," says Adrian 
Jmelnizky, who investigates racial abuse cases for Argentina's National 
Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism. "Internet use is 
beyond the scope of the anti-discrimination law and there are no 
initiatives to change that at present."

As a result, ultra-right groups locating their sites in Argentina avoid the 
need to locate servers offshore, or to hide domain names behind a maze of 
sites located in unhelpful jurisdictions.

Police, already overburdened by a wave of kidnappings and a general rise in 
violent crime, say they have little time to monitor Web sites for 
incendiary content.

Despite the growing visibility of Argentina's far-right groups on the 
Internet, analysts say their fortunes remain stagnant in the real world. 
Unlike European far-right groups in places such as the Netherlands, which 
have exploited economic dissatisfaction to recruit a new generation of 
supporters that have made an impact in open elections, extremists in 
Argentina, a country founded on immigration, remain marginalized in the 
political arena.

Argentine authorities appear unconcerned at their activities. "Our 
intelligence reports do not indicate that the extreme right is very 
active," says President Eduardo Duhalde's spokesman, Eduardo Amadeo. "They 
keep talking about racial issues, and anti-Semitism has never been a 
vote-winner in Argentina."

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