How are Latin American states reacting to Israel-Hamas war?

How are Latin American states reacting to Israel-Hamas war?
Countries across Latin America react to Hamas attacks on Israel, with varying stances on the conflict and a call for peace.
5 min read
11 October, 2023
An estimated 500,000 Palestinians and their descendants live in Chile [Getty]

Countries around the world have reacted to the surprise attacks launched by Hamas fighters on villages in Israel, which have so far killed 1,200 people, while deadly Israeli air strikes against the Gaza Strip killed an additional 1,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children.

Most Latin American countries released statements condemning Saturday’s attack on Israel by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

The exceptions were Venezuela, which demanded that Israel immediately halt the occupation of Palestine, and Bolivia, which said it was following developments with concern and accused the international community of inaction.

Initial reports also highlighted a number of nationals from Latin American countries were missing after the Hamas attacks.

Here is a round-up of the reactions from Latin America:


Brazil issued a statement on Saturday saying it hoped to prevent the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, condemning the Hamas attacks.

The country's foreign ministry reaffirmed a commitment to a "two-state solution", with Palestinians and Israelis coexisting within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders.

"The Brazilian government reiterates that there is no justification for resorting to violence, especially against civilians, and urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint to prevent an escalation of the situation," Brazil's foreign ministry said.

Live Story


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stressed his government's foreign policy of "non-intervention, self-determination of peoples, cooperation for development [and] peaceful resolution of differences" following the attacks on Saturday.

Lopez Obrador said: "We don't want to take sides, because we want to be a factor in the search for a peaceful solution", according to local reports.

On Monday, the Mexican leader reiterated his position of "not taking sides" in the Israel-Gaza after the Israeli ambassador to Mexico criticised his response.


Colombian President Gustavo Petro compared Israeli actions against Palestinians in Gaza to those of Nazis in Auschwitz.

Petro, who frequently accuses Israel of abuses against Palestinians, shared his response on X, saying: "I was at the Auschwitz concentration camp and now I see a carbon copy of it in Gaza".

In a separate post on X he highlighted "Western hypocrisy" in treating the occupation of Palestine by Israel differently to that of Russia in Ukraine.

"War has broken out again between Israel and Palestinian Gaza," he said, adding that international powers were "treating in one way the Russian occupation of Ukraine and in another, very different, way the Israeli occupation of Palestine".

"My wishes are for a dialogue of peace to be installed that fully recognises the Palestinian state," he added.

Petro was elected in 2022 as his country's first-ever leftist president. He has promised to move Colombia away from its traditional alignment with US-led foreign policies.

Live Story


Argentina, which has the largest Jewish community in Latin America - with some 300,000 members - announced that at least seven Argentine citizens were killed in Israel, adding that another 15 were reportedly missing.

The Argentine government condemned what it called a "terrorist attack" launched by Hamas against Israel on Saturday, calling for an end to the violence.

"The Argentine government condemns Hamas’ terrorist actions against Israeli territory and calls for an end to the violence and that the security of civilians be guaranteed […] Argentina expresses its solidarity with the Israeli people and extends its deepest condolences to the victim’s families," the foreign ministry said in a press release. 

President Alberto Fernández ordered that security for Jewish institutions in the country be upgraded and law enforcement agencies on the country's borders be on alert.


The Venezuelan government expressed "deep concern"  over the developments and called on Israel to fully and immediately end all settlement and occupation activities in the Palestinian territories, considering it the only way to achieve peace.

In a statement on X, it said the fighting was "the result of the impossibility of the Palestinian people to find in multilateral international legality a space to assert their historic rights".


The Bolivian foreign ministry expressed "deep concern" about the violence in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestine in a written statement.

It said Bolivia regrets the UN’s inaction and believes it has a responsibility to address the crisis and find solutions.

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales criticised his country over the statement. He shared on X his disappointment that the statement did "not accurately reflect the real situation faced by Palestinians".

He condemned the "imperialist and colonial actions of the Zionist government".

Live Story


In Chile, where an estimated 500,000 Palestinians and their descendants live - making up the largest community in the diaspora outside the Middle East - Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren released a statement on X.

"We are following with great concern the terrorist attack against Israel and express solidarity with the victims and their relatives," van Klaveren said.

"We condemn the use of violence and demand its immediate stop. We keep our commitment to the peace process between Israel and Palestine."

Chilean President Gabriel Boric also released a statement condemning the attacks and called for an end to the Israeli occupation.

"From Chile, we will firmly urge peace in all areas, recognising the right to exist for both states, Israel and Palestine, and for the peoples that inhabit them to have a dignified and safe life," he said.

Since his electoral campaign, Boric has manifested his support for the Palestinian cause on several occasions.

Other countries

Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay condemned the attack on Israel through statements issued by their foreign ministries.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, who is of Palestinian descent, compared Hamas to gangs in his own country.

"Anyone who supports the Palestinian cause would make a great mistake siding with those criminals," he said on X.