Some 500 Jews live in Bolivia (down from 10,000 in the 1940s) out of a total population of 7.6 million. Most live in the capital La Paz, and others are domiciled in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The Círculo Israelita de La Paz, which represents the Jewish community, maintains two synagogues, a home for the aged and a cemetery. WIZO and Maccabi are active Jewish organizations. The Colegio Boliviano Israelita includes a kindergarten, primary and secondary school, but the majority of its pupils are non-Jews.
Posters of the Orgullo Skinheads (see ASW 1999/2000) appeared in the main cities in September. They featured Hitler’s face decorated on either side with swastikas and eagles. The posters urged people to counter “the plague of the Jews and their accomplices: capitalists, neo-liberals and communists.”
There are 1,000 Jews in Ecuador out of a total population of 11.8 million Most Jews live in the capital Quito and there are a few in Guayaquil. There had been a steady decline in the number of Jews (in 1950 there were some 4,000) until recently when the community was bolstered by an influx of Jews from other Latin American countries. The central communal body is the Asociación Israelita de Quito – and its parallel in Guayaquil. Jewish centers and organizations function in both cities.
Nazi graffiti (“Sonder-Komando SK,” “SS” and swastikas) appeared on the walls of two neighborhoods of Quito in May. The signature “Oi” was also found, probably signifying that it was the work of skinheads. Swastikas were also drawn on the walls of the Einstein Jewish School in Quito on the night of 14 July.
The 120 Jews in El Salvador, out of a total population of nearly 6 million, represent only one-third of the community that existed before the civil war of 1976. The Comunidad Israelita de El Salvador was established in 1944. There is a synagogue and Jewish center, but since 1980 services have been conducted in a private home.
The newspaper La Prensa Gráfica published an article by the evangelical pastor Edgard López Bertrand, known as Brother Tobi, claiming that God has not forgiven the Jewish people for what they did to him. Brother Tobi has made similar remarks in the past bordering on antisemitism. Apparently, he refuses to accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965, and those written subsequently.
There are 1,000 Jews in Paraguay out of a total population of more than 5 million. Nearly all the Jews live in Asunción, the capital. The community is represented by the Consejo Representativo Israelita de Paraguay, but there are other communal organizations, including WIZO, B’nai B’rith and several youth movements. Most Jewish children attend the Colegio Integral Estado de Israel, which provides a Jewish primary and secondary education. Three synagogues cater to the religious needs of the Jews of Paraguay.
In June 2000 neo-Nazis distributed pamphlets at the American University in Asunción. The pamphlets invited all those with complaints against Jews to come to a meeting. A teacher was dismissed from the same university following a complaint accusing him of telling antisemitic jokes.