THE NAZI CHOLO

Apocalypse, Get a Job, War

A dangerous anti-Semitic movement is emerging in the land of Tupac Amaru and Vargas Llosa: the Andean Peru National Socialism Movement. News websites feature notes like: "Neo-Nazis in Peru? ya pues ... Is it a joke? ... If here we're all cholos. The image of a mestizo with a swastika is a bizarre paradox. But for the Nazi-like movement’s leader, Martín Quispe Mayta, and the 15,000 people who have signed in support of the movement, this is no joke.

Martín Quispe Mayta’s German fascist heroes wouldn’t have particularly favored his Inca caste. Although Martín’s education may have been basic (he spent his life moving between selling fruit and stamping), his reading was powerful. The International Jew by Henry Ford and Hitler's Mein Kampf were the bedside books of his adolescence — they would dictate how he should think about the world.

According to Martín, the Jews are the minority (the Jewish community in Peru is no more than 5,000 people) that has brought ruin for the rest of the Peruvian people. In Martín’s eyes, the Spanish conqueror who terrorized the Incas — Pizarro — was Jewish, and Hitler was the hero who sacrificed himself for humanity. As for the Holocaust, it is simply an invention thought up by the Semite media. Even though Martín’s perception may be skewed and his historical knowledge, mistaken, the aesthetic he peddles through his paraphernalia and propaganda is seductive.

Martín has mastered Goebbels’ art: everything from his Nazi salute to his SS dress style and the two books he has had published and distributed across the streets of Lima — The Hidden Jewish Power and Jewish: guilty of all the misfortunes of mankind — serve to unite all those disaffected with the government, the economic situation and the distribution of wealth.

There have been other nationalist and anti-Semitic initiatives in Peru before. The Autonomous National Christian Equality Movement, which was directed by Ricardo Spitio or 'the Hitler of Tacna' (Peruvian Province), shook the national scene. However, Martín is the only one who has publicly declared his intention to make his movement a political party. One day, he intends to be president of the Republic.

“The problem is that Martín Quispe can sell [his] idea to many, less educated, people who see themselves as…defending the Inca nation from the Jews…One would say that this madman will be follow by seven crazy guys, but he is followed by 15,000" warns Walter Arévalo, professor of International Political Analysis at Bogotá’s Universidad del Rosario. This Führer cholo has, between joke and jest, plunged Peru into a dizzying political debate.