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Peru Presses Drive on Fifth Columnists

The Peruvian Government’s drive against potential fifth columnists has gained momentum during recent weeks, leading among other things to registration of all aliens and the internment of those who cannot be deported, because of the war, in concentration camps.

The Government also has suppressed the weekly newspaper ” Los Derechos” which consistently attacked the Allies and the Jews. This publication was largely financed by Italian and German advertisements.

Anti – alien sentiment has been growing here for several months and the Government’s moves have generally been approved by the Chilean press and public. The fifth column scare, fanned by daily newspaper articles warning of this danger, has made every foreigner a subject of suspicion to the Peruvians.

The alien registration ruling requires that every alien have a registration card and report at least twice yearly to the Government. German refugees, who arrived here on visitor visas and now no definite status have been particularly hard hit by this regulation.

Following its census in which every inhabitant of the country was obliged to report his or her occupation and religion, the Government temporarily forbade foreigners to start new factories or concerns in this country or obtain patents here.

Anti – Jewish factions have taken advantage of the present situation to assert that the Jews have been sent here by Hitler to engage in ” fifth column ” activities.

The press is definitely pro – Ally with articles attacking the Axis powers prominently featured in the newspapers. In spite of the Government action a strong German ” fifth column” has reportedly been at work in the country and strict alien supervision has not stopped circulation of large quantities of German propaganda material.

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