Mário Machado (*1977), is considered among the most influential right-wing extremist activists in Portugal12 and is the founder and leader of several neo-Nazi groups. Machado has a long criminal record that includes racial discrimination, violent offenses, illegal possession of weapons, defamation, kidnapping and extortion.
Machado was drawn to the neo-Nazi movement in the age of 13, when he became a member of the Group 1143, the most nationalistic faction of Portugal's biggest sports club Juventude Leonina ("Leonina Youth"), of which he later would become the leader.
During a stint in prison between 1995 and 2001, together with other skinheads, many of them also serving time for the racial violence that led to the death of Alcindo Monteiro, he founded the Portuguese chapter of the internationally operating White supremacist Aryan Brotherhood, known for its role in organized crime. According to Mário Machado, the organization operated in a system of cells without a central leadership in order to outwit the "Zionist Occupation Government."
Mário Machado with his skinhead buddies.
In 2004, he founded and led the neo-Nazi group Frente Nacional ("National Front"), considered the most radical faction of Portuguese skinheads,3 which was supporting the National Renewal Party (PNR), of which Mário Machado was a member at the time. Machado was considered as "activist of the year" in 2005 by the PNR leadership.3 That year he founded the Portuguese chapter of the white supremacist group Hammerskin Nation, formed in 1988 in Dallas, Texas, the Portugal Hammerskins (PHS).34
In early 2014, Machado, then detained at the Alcoentre prison, distanced himself from the National Renewal Party (PNR), which he had supported as a leader of the far-right Frente Nacional movement, due to the party having abandoned its nationalist line in favor of a more moderate right-wing ideology, while announcing the end of the Hammerskins Portugal.
Logo of the Nova Ordem Social website
Machado subsequently announced to form a new political party, which he named Nova Ordem Social ("New Social Order," NOS). The first meeting of the new movement took place on April 26, 2014, gathering about fifty people, including representatives of the ultranationalist parties Golden Dawn (Greece) and NPD (Germany). The date was purposely chosen to underline the position that the group does not celebrate April 25, 1974, the day of the Carnation Revolution, describing it as a coup and betrayal. The chosen symbol was an arrow pointing upwards, because the party would be neither "left or right," according to Machado.5
Today, Machado is still one of the leading figures of the neo-Nazi subculture in the country.6 On August 10, 2019, a conference of several, mainly Third Positionist, European neo-Nazi parties and groups took place in Lisbon, Portugal, organized by Machado.7
The event, attended by around 70 people, was accompanied by a large counter-demonstration with around 2000 protestors.8 Opponents published a manifesto and an online petition in the run-up of the demonstration, which could gather almost 10000 signatures in a week.8
The following speakers were scheduled:
- Mário Machado (Nova Ordem Social, Portugal)
- Francesca Rizzi (Autonomia Nazionalista, Italy)
- Yvan Benedetti (Parti Nationaliste Français, France)
- Blagovest Asenov (National Resistance, Bulgaria)
- Matthias Deyda (Die Rechte, Germany)
- Josele Sanchez (La Tribuna de España, Spain)
- Alba Lobera (La Tribuna de España, Spain)
- 1. José Mourão da Costa, O Partido Nacional Renovador: a nova extrema-direita na democracia portuguesa, Análise Social no.201, Lisbon, October 2011, http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0003-25732011000400008.
- 2. Fábio Chang de Almeida, A direita radical no Portugual democrático: os rumos após a revolução dos cravos (1974-2012), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 2014, https://www.lume.ufrgs.br/bitstream/handle/10183/114413/000953077.pdf
- 3. a. b. c. Luís Manuel Cabral, "O líder do movimento "skinhead" português," Diário de Notícias, August 28, 2008, https://www.dn.pt/dossiers/sociedade/extrema-direita/perfil/interior/o-lider-do-movimento-skinhead-portugues-1006000.html.
- 4. Riccardo Marchi & José Pedro Zúquete, "The Other Side of Protest Music: the extreme right and skinhead culture in democratic Portugal (1974-2015)," JOMEC Journal 9, July 1, 2016, p. 48–69, https://jomec.cardiffuniversitypress.org/articles/10.18573/j.2016.10042/galley/131/download/.
- 5. Sonia Simões, "A história de amor entre um skinhead e uma menina de Cascais," Observador, May 20, 2014, https://observador.pt/especiais/a-historia-de-amor-entre-um-skinhead-e-uma-menina-de-cascais/.
- 6. "Mário Machado e os 1143," Record, March 12, 2015, https://www.record.pt/especial/detalhe/mario-machado-e-os-1143-936083.
- 7. Nova Ordem Social (Blog), https://nova-ordem-social.blogspot.com/2019/08/cartaz-final-conferencia-nacionalista.html.
- 8. a. b. Mu Xuequan, "Nationalist conference convenes in Lisbon amid protests: report," Xinhua News, August 11, 2019, www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/11/c_138299510.htm.