Russia’s Propaganda Is Finding an Audience in Latin America

Russia’s Propaganda Is Finding an Audience in Latin America
A news anchor sits on set at RT’s studio, in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 14, 2017 (Sputnik photo by Iliya Pitalev via AP).

MEXICO CITY—“News doesn’t have borders,” proclaim the bright green advertisements bearing the logo of the Russian state broadcaster RT that blanket the Mexico City metro. The ads appeared in early 2024 as candidates geared up for the country’s June 2 presidential and legislative elections, but also in the run-up to the second anniversary of Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. 

The Mexican ad blitz is part of RT’s ongoing attempts to grow its international audience, which has mushroomed across Latin America in recent years. RT’s Spanish-language service, also known as Actualidad RT, has become its most successful foreign-language foray, according to the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford.  

Actualidad RT, along with sister network Sputnik Mundo, relay Russian talking points on the war in Ukraine, while indulging in conspiracy theories and providing positive coverage of Latin America’s leftist presidents. Both outlets boast robust social media followings in a region with a history of distrust for traditional media outlets and a tendency to focus on local rather than international affairs. 

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