LIMA, Peru — An organization led by a man who criticizes Jews and sometimes wears a Nazi-style brown-shirt uniform has been allowed to register for elections in Peru.
The group’s new party is named the Autonomous National Christian Equality — forming the Spanish language acronym INCA, a reference to Peru’s pre-Hispanic culture.
Its registration was made public Tuesday by the Legal Defense Institute, or IDL, a nongovernmental human rights organization, and was confirmed on the election commission’s Web site.
The group’s leader is Ricardo de Spirito Balbuena, 50, whom IDL has referred to as “the Adolf Hitler of Tacna,” the southern Peruvian region where his Front for the Defense against Interest and Usury is based.
De Spirito’s writings on the group’s Web page contain repeated denunciations of Jews, accusing them of inventing the concept of interest and denouncing their influence — along with that of Masons — on Peru.
Peruvian law bans parties that promote or justify “the exclusion or persecution of individuals for whatever reason.”
De Spirito denies he is a neo-Nazi, saying in a video linked to the Front’s Web site that the aim of his group is “to rescue the dignity of the people.”
“Are you a Nazi or not?” an unseen reporter asks on the video.
“Absolutely not,” he replies. “I am a National Christian.”
However, he and members have made appearances in uniforms eerily like the brown shirts of Hitler’s National Socialist Party, complete with red arm bands bearing a “Z” rather than a swastika.
De Spirito said one tenet of the group’s doctrine resembles that of the Nazis: “The wealth of the people is supported by work, not money.”
Peru will hold municipal and regional elections at the end of this year.