Elections in the United States: Misinformation, Racism and Conspiracy Theories, Fertile Ground Among Hispanics in Florida

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Less than two weeks before the elections, all kinds of lies proliferate, especially vulnerable to narratives such as fear of electoral fraud due to their experiences in their countries of origin.

Less than two weeks before the elections in the United States, conspiracy theories, racism towards the African-American social movement and disinformation proliferate among Florida’s Hispanic voters, especially vulnerable to narratives such as fear of electoral fraud due to their experiences in their home countries.

A potential election fraud engineered by the Democrats, an alleged conspiracy of Jews, African Americans and even gays to interfere in the elections … are some of the stories that spread among many voters in the United States, and among Florida Latinos in particular.

The influencer Liliana Rodríguez Morillo is an example. Daughter of singer José Luis “El Puma” Rodríguez and a devotee of Donald Trump, this Venezuelan in Miami reproduced on her Instagram a photograph of fake driver’s licenses, seized earlier this year in Chicago.

“All registered to vote Democrat!” He wrote to his 485,000 followers. “Abra [sic] fraud on November 3? Or do we play dumb? To vote in person! “.

Fact checkers, PolitiFact among them, they denied the assertion that the nearly 20,000 driver’s licenses – which were confiscated – were linked to Democrats.

Lizette Escobedo, director of civic engagement for NALEO Educational Fund, a nonpartisan NGO that promotes Latino political participation, says mistrust of the electoral system It is common among Florida Hispanics of both tendencies.

The problem, he explains, “is that most Latinos actually do not trust the electoral process. They are afraid that their votes will not be counted. “

His organization seeks to counter this perception at the national level with educational messages online.

“And, in this election, Florida is our biggest digital budget,” Escobedo told AFP.

Last month, Representatives Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Joaquín Castro asked the FBI to investigate the rise in misinformation aimed at South Florida Latinos and “consider the efforts of foreign actors” in this regard.

Much of these conspiracy theories favor President Trump, who is head-to-head in the race with Democrat Joe Biden in Florida, a crucial state in the elections ending Nov. 3.

Florida Hispanics make up 17% of an electorate of 14 million voters dominated by Cuban exiles.

Escobedo affirms that Latinos are particularly vulnerable to misinformation of this kind because they define their position with respect to the American political system, “based on political systems that they have in their country of origin “.

And Latin America has a long history of authoritarian governments on both the right and the left, often sustained with elections marked as fraudulent.

But this is the tip of the iceberg. The disinformation also targets the Bidens, the Jewish community, and African-Americans.

Recently, according to the public radio WLRN, the Venezuelan radio host Carinés Moncada, from Actualidad Radio de Miami, associated the Black Lives Matter movement with witchcraft.


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