A freedom-minded conservative group in Brazil is surging in popularity after spreading their message online and winning seats in the country’s federal and state elections.
Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) — the Free Brazil Movement — is called “the Brazilian Breitbart” by BuzzFeed News and the group’s leader, Kim Kataguiri, is referred to as “Brazil’s equivalent of Milo Yiannopoulos.”
Kataguiri is the youngest person ever elected to Congress in Brazil at the age of 22 and his YouTube channel, along with MBL’s internet presence, is the primary reason.
In a similar fashion to Infowars and other pro-Trump media outlets in America, the MBL has been labeled “fascist” and “fake news” by the left-wing.
Sixteen candidates associated with MBL ran for office in the 2018 election and six of them won at the federal level with more winning seats at the state level.
Forty percent of MBL’s funding comes from YouTube ad revenue and the group plans on starting an individual page for each of their candidates who won an election.
The MBL YouTube page gained over one million subscribers in the last year and is frequently featured on the front page of YouTube for Brazilian users.
Like many American activists and politicians, Kataguiri speaks out against political correctness pushed by the left and uses memes to mock them.
Kataguiri says despite Facebook’s discrimination against MBL and other conservatives, they are “the biggest political network on the internet.”
However, the censorship has taken its toll as Kataguiri claims, “We now have, on Facebook, 20 times less engagement than we did in 2016 or 2017.”
It’s fitting that the internet has played such a major role in the rise of MBL, as Kataguiri credits his political awakening to Googling videos of Ron Paul and Brazilian libertarian Daniel Fraga.
In 2013, Kataguiri was making YouTube videos on economics and after attending a Ron Paul speech in Brazil the same year he decided to start MBL to get other young Brazilians interested in libertarianism.
By 2015, his YouTube channel was gaining massive attention and he was even listed by Time Magazine as one of the most influential teenagers of the year.
A big moment for MBL occurred in 2016 when they organized a 600-mile march to support “free markets, lower taxes, and privatization,” and the impeachment of then-President Dilma Rousseff.
After Rousseff was impeached months later, MBL focused on taking control of the Brazilian government by studying the United States’ 2016 elections, specifically, “the tea party and the communication with Breitbart.”
MBL’s main Facebook page has over 3 million followers, but the group is diversifying their choice of platforms in an attempt to circumvent internet censorship.
Many American journalists have voiced support for the movement, including Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson and Milo Yiannopoulos.
“I guarantee YouTubers in Brazil are more influential than politicians.” https://t.co/yhDYPGmCJk
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 22, 2018
Considering the fact that the movement’s primary YouTube audience ranges from ages 13–24, the future could be bright for Brazil as long as they don’t allow the tech elite to silence their youth.