Translated by Ollie Richardson
The police of the Brazilian state of Rio-Grande-do-Sul detained recruiters of the Ukrainian “Azov” battalion and local neo-Nazis who were going to go to the war in Donbass. This was reported by one of heads of the investigation, the head of the department of counteracting against neo-Nazi organizations in the primary police station of the city of Porto Alegre Paulo César Jardim.
“About 10 months ago we received information that people from Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe had arrived here in order to hire members of neo-Nazi groups for the “Azov” battalion in order to send them to Ukraine. Many people were detained and gave testimonies,” said Paulo César Jardim to Sputnik Brazil.
Detentions took place at the same time in eight cities, including in the capital of the state, Porto Alegre. Now the recruiters have been released because of the intricacies of the Brazilian justice system.
“We didn’t manage to arrest them in the act, and the judgement was only for detention and for giving a testimony, and for the purpose of preventing possible actions in the future. I follow a rather simple rule: it is much more simple and quiet for everyone to prevent something, than to deal with the consequences, pain, and tragedy,” explained the police officer.
The Brazilian neo-Nazis arrested within the “Azov” operation were already in search of other crimes. The police confiscated from them computers, documents, and nazi paraphernalia.
Paulo César Jardim also said that he has been engaged in the fight against neo-Nazis for about 16 years — since he headed police of the state capital.
“(Then) I was addressed by the NGO “Justice and Human Rights” who spoke about the existence of neo-Nazi organizations in Rio-Grande-do-Sul. At first I did not really believed it and thought: neo-nazism here — seriously? Brazil is a country of soccer, carnivals, etc.,” said the police officer. After an investigation, law enforcement authorities revealed the movements of skinheads, nazis, neo-Nazis.
“We found out that they had conflicts with punks and, after conducting investigations, understood that there really are groups with the neo-Nazi ideology. Since then we made many arrests, more than 50 people were convicted, many measures were taken, many criminal cases were opened,” Paulo César Jardim concluded.
The state of Rio-Grande-do-Sul is the most southern state of Brazil. Because of the soft climate, similar to the Old World, European colonists from Germany, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, etc., historically settled here. At present the white population in the south of Brazil is about 80%.
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