Monday, June 22, 2009

Ecuadorian Skinheads

There's a group of skinheads in Cuenca called A.N.R. Without knowing what their politics are or what they really do, I do know that they spray paint their tag "A.N.R." as well as a swastika around different buildings in the city. They've always been around, but lately more and more are popping up, especially in the center. I don't know what they think they stand for, but it's a topic of conversation that has been coming up more and more recently.

The ironic thing about being an Ecuadorian skinhead is that if they are in fact in favor of Nazi beliefs, then that would essentially put them in the group of people hated by Nazis. There is a definite lack of education on the matter in these parts, and many people simply name their children Hitler, Stalin, or Trotsky simply because they are well known historical figures. But they don't know why they are famous, and don't even care to hear about their stories. One friend told me that a student he had was named Hitler, and know one in the class cared, as if it was another name like Jon. When he tried to explain, they weren't even listening.

But basically, as a Jew and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I find it uncomfortable to live in a place where people can be so ignorant of such facts and continue to celebrate these world leaders as if they were heroic. Just last week I was witness to the consequences vicious attack from skinheads. This time, though, it was skinhead on skinhead violence. We don't know what brought on the fight, but 5 guys jumped another man on his motorcycle while he was at a red light and proceeded to beat the crap out of him. They were stomping is face in as he lay helpless by the curb, like something out of "American History X." They eventually ran away and left the man completely disoriented and bleeding badly, while traffic backed up and no one did anything.

These things can happen anywhere in the world, and gang violence is nothing new. But it is a little surprising when it takes place here in Cuenca, which is generally thought of as a peaceful city. It's an aggravation that you have to deal with because in reality, this happens everywhere, including the United States. I only hope that in the future the educational system will improve enough to teach what these things actually mean, and maybe defer some people from joining the ranks.

5 comments: said...

I'm a man from Cuenca. I'm not surprised about the things you have seen.

I'm a student from a university from the state, is really awful see young people wasting his time in estupid ideas, I've seen skinheads, nazi, communist... there are miles of people there... I thong Miguel Unamuno was right "The foolish people are majority man..."

Or maybe when Facundo Cabral said: My uncle was man that no fears anything, except the idiots... I have made a question to him saying "why"... he said "because they are so much people"

Jon said...

Hi Emilian,

Thanks for reading! What university do you go to? I used to teach at the University of Cuenca. You've got some good quotes there too.

Tecnomerengue said...

Hi, I'm from Guayaquil
Don't forget "Lenin". That's also a classic in Ecuador
Skinheads in Ecuador? I'll say that's just a fad, just like emos or rollerbladers
MarĂ­a Isabel

valelly said...

There is definitely a lack of understanding regarding the skinhead movement, for some strange reason the scene has always been associated with neo nazi movements/nationalist racist fascist connotations. Very few people in fact don't know that the skinhead movement was a subculture that originated among working class young people in the UK. These were greatly influenced by Jamaican music such as rocksteady reggae and Jamaican rude boys and Mods (more on Mod later) when it came to fashion style etc.
Now you're probably surprised at the fact that I wrote JAMAICAN earlier, seeing as the skinhead is seen as racist bigot who is convinced he/she is superior to everyone else who happens to be a darker shade of white....well the fact is I don't want to bore the tits off everyone that bothers to read this so clink on these links and yes I know wikipedia is full of shit half the time but in this case the history of the skinhead movement is fairly accurate, so click here for the info:
There is also a brief explanation in spanish from the RASH website

Hopefully that will clear up a lot of misconceptions that people have. Skinhead was all about unity and acceptance. Someone mentioned communist in the same breath as nazis, well my friend I tell you we need the communists which I'm sure wouldn't think twice to stand by you if you had the misfortune to be attacked by bunch of wannabe fascists. Thats the kind of people we need because they are the resistance to counterbalance the threat of fascism in ecuador. People need to be educated and to the other post who mentioned the ridiculous names parents give their children yes, it's staggering the level of ignorance of some people. Thank God my parents gave me a spanish name when I was born is all I can say!
Anyway happy reading, any comments email me at

Un saludo mis brothers

Anonymous said...

Have you guys even read nazi ideology? It doesn't matter if your white or black. Nazis dont mix but they don descriminate. I am an ss 14/88 sig hail! Don't talk shit if you don't know the real ideology.