The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Skinhead International: Brazil

A major theme of Brazilian Skins is hatred of Nordestinos (Northeasterners), people from the impoverished Northeastern states who have migrated in increasing numbers to the large cities in search of a better life. The issue parallels immigration problems in Europe and the United States, stimulating the same popular fears of job loss and insecurity. Brazil's racist Skinheads, like their counterparts elsewhere, thrive on such fears.

The largest concentration of Brazilian neo-Nazi Skinheads is in Sao Paulo, an industrial city of more than 10 million people. An estimated 1,000 Skins roam the city's streets behaving in the usual menacing Skinhead manner. Three separate groups operate in the city:

1. Carecas do Suburbio (Skinheads of the suburbs), a gang noted for its ultra-nationalism and gay-bashing, which hangs around bars in the eastern part of the city.

2. Carecas do ABC (ABC Skinheads), named for the initials of three industrial suburbs. They subscribe to the fascist doctrines of Plinio Salgado, the 1930's leader of the "Integralists." The ABC Skins are extremely violent and hostile towards Jews, homosexuals and Northeasterners.

3. White Power Skinheads, an avowedly Nazi gang that is the most violent of all. They hate Jews, blacks, homosexuals and Northeasterners, and advocate the secession of the more prosperous southern Brazil from the rest of the country.

Elsewhere in Brazil, there are fewer Skinheads than in Sao Paulo, but they still present serious problems. In Rio de Janeiro, a neo-Nazi gang named Carecas do Brasil (Skinheads of Brazil) operates in the Bangu neighborhood. Other gangs are active in the city of Pelotas, in the sourther state of Rio Grande do Sul; in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana; and in the cities of the Florianopolis and Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina.

Violent Lifestyle

Crimes of violence are intrinsic to the lifestyle of Brazil's Skinheads. Most such crimes are not reported, for the same reasons that crime generally is under-reported in Brazil. The criminal episodes listed below are but a portion of the whole.

In September 1992, two Jewish students from Beith Chabad were set upon and brually beaten by 12 Skinheads. The assault took place in Santo Andre, a suburb of Sao Paulo.

During the same month, Sao Paulo Skinheads, shouting "Death to the Northeasterners," painted a red swastika on the wall of a cultural center for Northeastern migrants.

In November 1992, a black man sleeping on a bench in downtown Sao Paulo was seized and severely beaten by Skinheads shouting racist ephithets.

Sao Paulo's Radio Actual has had racist slogans painted on its walls. The station programs for Northeaster migrants.

Two Jewish cemetaries were desecrated in Porto Alegre, and the walls of the Jewish Society of Pelotas were covered with anti-Semitic slogans. Skinheads are believed to have been responsible.

In January 1993, 50 Skinheads scrambled aboard a Sao Paulo bus and assaulted its passengers. The week before, 40 Skinheads were arrested following a riot in Epinotec, a discotheque in downtown Sao Paulo.

In March 1994, members of the Carecas do ABC Skinhead gang murdered a 15-year-old black youngster, one of Sao Paulo's "street urchins."

The Brazilian federal government and the state of Sao Paulo have officially condemned Skinhead offenses, and, in many cases, have taken effective action against the gangs. In April 1994, the federal police began operating a new department specializing in crimes motivated by racism.

The Music Scene

Brazil's Skinheads listen to the same songs, performed by the same bands, as do Skinheads everywhere. Their fanzines, which list their favorite bands, offer a roster of names familiar to Skinheads around the world: the English bands No Remorse and Skrewdriver, France's Legion 88, Sweden's Ultima Thule, and others.

Two local Skinhead bands have arisen in Brazil. The better-known one, Locomotiva, is a Sao Paulo group. In a 1992 interview with a local fanzine, the band's spokesman, "Ivan," said the group had been influenced by the music of Skrewdriver, Brutal Attack and Peggior Amico (an Italian group). He said the band had one record on the market, "Sao Paulo Patria," produced by the French record company Rebelles Europeens.

The other Brazilian band, GSB, was founded in 1990. Its initials stand for Grupo Separatista Branco (White Separatist Group). Less popular than Locomotiva, its views are openly Nazi.

Skinhead recordings are not readily available in music shops in Brazil, but can be obtained by mail order. One such mail order outfit operates out of a post office box in Santo Andre.

Two openly racist skinzines, Orgulho Paulista and Determinacao E Coragem, have made appearances in Brazil, with offerings of interviews, ratings of bands, and announcements about the Skinhead music scene. Both express admiration for such hate groups from the United States as the Ku Klux Klan, the Church of the Creator and Gary Lauck's NSDAP-AO. (Anti-Defamation League, 17-19)

Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. The Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1995. Anti-Defamation League, 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.

Disclaimer: not all skinheads are neo-nazis or white supremacists. There are many skinheads who are non- or anti-racist, and who come from a variety of different religious and cultural backgrounds. Nizkor recognizes their achievements in anti-racism: they are part of the traditional, non-racist skinhead subculture and are not the perpetrators of the hate crimes discussed here.

Unless otherwise specified, the word "skinhead" within these pages refers only to neo-Nazi and white supremacist skinheads, the perpetrators of hate crimes and participants in racist organizations. We cannot edit the body of the text above, because it was not written by Nizkor, and to change the wording would be fraudulent. Please keep in mind that not all skinheads are racist.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

[ Index ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.