September 12, 2023
In the wake of the historic 22-year sentencing of Enrique Tarrio, ex-leader of the Proud Boys, and other consequential sentences related to the January 6th attack, the corrosive power of online disinformation stands out starkly. These campaigns, especially those that specifically target our Spanish-speaking communities, don't just warp perceptions — they have the power to incite tangible criminal harm. Through the Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition, NHMC is spearheading the fight to stop and prevent disinformation and information fraud. NHMC is working alongside other social justice organizations to ensure bad actors and irresponsible platforms are held accountable for the role they continue to play in this online epidemic. As we digest the grave nature of the sentences being handed down, our gaze must remain focused on eradicating the roots of disinformation in order to safeguard democracy in the United States of America.
The notable judgment against Enrique Tarrio highlights the recent legal consequences faced by Proud Boys members marking a significant moment following the events of the January 6th Capitol incident. Other Proud Boys members also face hefty sentences: Joe Biggs with 17 years, Zachary Rehl with 15, Ethan Nordean at 18, and Dominic Pezzola, cleared of seditious conspiracy but found guilty on other counts, will serve 10 years.
Against this backdrop, understanding the driving forces of organized hate is paramount. Disinformation, particularly aimed at Spanish-speaking communities, significantly molds public sentiment and influences on-the-ground actions. NHMC, through the Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition, is at the vanguard of challenging this online onslaught. In a time where disinformation is more than just a digital whisper, but a deafening shout leading to dire actions, our commitment to shield our communities and hold platforms to account has never been more pressing.
It's crucial to recognize the link between disinformation, organized hate, and real-world violence. The work being done by organizations, like NHMC, in holding platforms accountable is more vital than ever.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition