In a recent development, the United States has pointed fingers at Russia, accusing it of financing a comprehensive disinformation campaign across Latin America. The alleged initiative aims to disseminate propaganda and fake news through local media channels, fostering anti-U.S., anti-NATO sentiments, and undermining support for Ukraine.
The State Department released a statement, asserting that the Kremlin’s objective is to seamlessly integrate its propaganda into Latin American media, creating a narrative that resonates organically with the local audience. The Russian embassy has yet to respond to these allegations.
This move is part of the ongoing efforts by Washington to counter what it perceives as Russia’s systematic use of disinformation to advance its foreign policy goals. In late October, the U.S. unveiled a declassified intelligence assessment, shared with over 100 governments, highlighting Moscow’s tactics of leveraging spies, social media, and state-run outlets to erode public trust in democratic election processes.
The recent statement reveals that Russia is actively utilizing media contacts in several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The disinformation campaign seeks to weaken support for Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s invasion while fostering anti-U.S. and anti-NATO sentiments.
The orchestration of this “information manipulation campaign” is attributed to three Russian organizations: The Social Design Agency (SDA), the Institute for Internet Development, and Structura. These entities, labeled “influence-for-hire” firms, allegedly co-opt local media and influencers in Latin America to further their agenda.
Notably, the European Union imposed sanctions on SDA and Structura in July, accusing them of spreading propaganda supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. The U.S. State Department claims that teams in Russia generate content, which is then sent to cultivated journalists in Latin America for review, editing, and subsequent publication in mass media.
Two primary outlets mentioned in connection with disseminating this material are Pressenza, an online Spanish-language news platform established in Milan, Italy, in 2009 and registered in Ecuador since 2014, and El Ciudadano, based in Chile. Both outlets have not yet responded to requests for comment on the accusations.