Peru, an Andean nation with deep ports that China covets, is being convulsed by riots instigated from both inside and outside the country. If you notice a similar pattern with the riots that have destabilized Colombia, Chile—and the United States—that is because the same network of people is involved.
In Peru’s case, the spark came last week with the arrest of the new Maoist president, Pedro Castillo. In Colombia, it was an uptick in a local tax passed in 2021. In Chile, a minimal raise in the price of a subway ride in 2019 sparked unrest. And in the U.S., it was the deaths of Trayvon Martin in 2012, of Michael Brown in 2014, and of George Floyd in 2020.
Chile and Colombia have since elected actual Marxists as presidents. In the U.S., we got President Joe Biden.
Castillo, elected in 2021, was ousted by parliament last week after he tried to dissolve the legislature and stage a coup. This led to the ascension of his vice president, Dina Boluarte, also a Marxist, as president.
Alarmingly, she has come out against even using rubber bullets to stop the mobs torching buildings and disrupting Peru from Lima to Machu Picchu. According to the New York Times, Boluarte has called on the minister of interior to identify the policemen “who have used these weapons that are harming our sisters and brothers.”
These “brothers and sisters,” members of “indigenous” groups, unions, and other leftist activists, are instigated from outside through social media accounts based in the U.S., Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico and include pro-China, pro-Russia, and pro-Iran activists. Some were also involved with our own Black Lives Matter summer of violence.
Joseph Humire of the Center for a Secure Free Society, one of the best analysts in the U.S. following this sort of online activity, gave me a rundown of those pushing on social media the disinformation narrative that Castillo was ousted because of racism against his Indian roots. They include former Bolivian President Evo Morales, Cristina Kirchner, the recently indicted vice president of Argentina, and Gustavo Petro and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Marxist presidents of Colombia and Mexico, respectively.
Similarly, Douglas Farah, who also conducts investigations on illicit networks, has found that the vast majority of the millions of tweets about the riots that broke out in Chile came from Venezuela and its allies, Cuba and Nicaragua, while most anti-riot tweets were Chilean. This shouldn't come as a surprise: Venezuela’s regime has vowed that it will use its oil money to sow this type of chaos throughout the Americas.
Humire alerted me to influencers such as the pro-Russia activist Daniel Estulin, who actually brags in a video from Mexico that he is helping instigate the riots in Peru. Humire also reminded me that Andahuaylas, rocked by violent protests this week, is within the same region (Apurimac) where Iran has developed an indigenous network.
There’s also the equally pro-Russia and China apologist Ben Norton, who regularly tweets to his quarter-million followers about the opposition to Peru’s “right-wing coup.” On the Peruvian crisis, he sometimes retweets Kawsachun News Coca, a Bolivian news outlet that defends the interests of coca growers and whose slogan is “Kawsachun Coca, Waynuchun Yankees!”—or “Long live Coca, Yankees Out!”
Norton, who until recently worked for the Grayzone, an outlet run by leftist Max Blumenthal that defends the Kremlin, Caracas, Havana, Beijing, and many other unsavory regimes, has a long history of also promoting BLM on social media or through writings. Blumenthal himself doesn’t just support BLM through writings but personally took part in the 2020 protests, just months after meeting the dictator Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, according to journalist Emmanuel Rincon.
All of this matters deeply to U.S. interests and our own stability. The convulsions in South America will affect us here, either through the illicit drugs trade or illegal immigration. Moreover, China is building a massive commercial port in Peru that will facilitate its trade with the region and that offers a direct route to the Indo-Pacific for its commercial and military aspirations.
Lastly, South America’s Left and ours are all part of a vast network. The conferences where the Marxist activists congregate, exchange ideas, strategize, and share “best practices” go by such names as the Foro de Sao Paulo, Grupo de Puebla, and Left Forum, to name three. Conservatives pay these gatherings little mind, while intelligence agencies are either too defanged or too co-opted to do anything about them.
Consider the 2015 Left Forum in New York City, held just months after the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The summit hosted speeches by Alicia Garza, a BLM co-founder, as well as several Venezuelan and Chinese officials.
In a rousing speech, Garza said, “Black Lives Matter is much more than a hashtag. In fact, Black Lives Matter is an organized network in 26 cities globally.” Garza added that “our task is to build the Left” but warned that the Marxists gathered around her would not get “actual political power, actual economic power, social power, with slogans and newsletters.” What was needed to defeat capitalism, she said, was “an organized, consolidated, multi-issue, multi-tendency Left.”
Meanwhile, the 2017 meeting of the Foro de Sao Paulo, held in Washington, D.C., brought together BLM, the Communist Party USA, the Democratic Socialists of America, Bolivia’s Movimiento al Socialismo, El Salvador’s Marxist FMLN party, and other fellow travelers. It strongly defended Venezuela’s regime, trade with Russia and China, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), racial and gender groups, and environmentalism while attacking former President Donald Trump for his supposed “racism and machismo.”
If you think what happens in the Andes stays in the Andes, think again.
This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner