LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A Hispanic immigrant who defines himself as a patriot and activist of the 'Alt-Right', a far-right movement linked to white supremacists, was the main organizer of a protest against undocumented immigrants that took place Sunday in southern California.
Juan Cadavid, alias 'Johnny Benitez,' has been a member of a group that has participated in violent clashes against opponents of President Donald Trump.
He is 29 years old and originally from Colombia, and was brought to the United States by his parents when he was two years old, Cadavid told Univision News.
"I arrived as a baby, in the late 1980s, my family came with a work visa and had to go through a long process to sort out their papers, but we arrived legally," said Cadavid, who lives in Orange County.
On social networks, where he identifies himself as 'Johnny Benitez', he upholds the anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration, such as deporting all undocumented people, closing doors to refugees and building a border wall.
"What we want are migratory policies that benefit Americans, because what we now have is an oversupply of cheap labor. Companies want to bring people from Somalia or Mexico to exploit them, we want job opportunities to be for the Americans, "Cadavid explained at the Laguna Beach protest.
In photos: Hundreds mount counter-protest against racism and white supremacists in southern California
In the photos that he has published on Instagram and Facebook, he usually appears making the 'OK' sign with his fingers, often used by members of the 'Alt-Right' movement, as well as posing with guns and the American flag with black stripes.
A 'Proud Boy'
Cadavid acknowledged having been a member of 'Proud Boys', an organization with a supremacist ideology that has staged violent clashes with opponents of Trump.
"I am no longer a 'Proud Boys', but that group is not racist, neither are 'Alt Knights' nor other groups. They are just defenders of white people, but they are not against people of color," he added.
The 'Alt-Right' movement believes that the white race is under attack by multicultural forces, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that studies U.S. hate groups. Its members, according to the SPLC, are characterized by use of cyber bullying and memes spread via social networks to attack liberal groups they call 'Antifas,' (anti-fascists.)
They are also responsible for recruiting young people to inculcate 'white nationalism' or 'patriotism' as a fundamental value.