South America

Chile approves anti-discrimination law in wake of gay man’s murder


SANTIAGO, Chile — The Chilean Congress this week approved an LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination law, fast-tracked following the brutal attack and murder of Daniel Zamudio, a gay Chilean man killed earlier this year.

The bill cleared its final hurdle with a 25-3 vote in the Senate, and makes it a crime to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, appearance or handicap.

The bill was first proposed in Chile’s Senate in 2005, but remained more or less dormant for over six years.

Following Zamudio’s death, President Sebastian Pinera put the bill on the fast track to approval.

“Today marks the end of a seven-year process that has given Chileans a way of protecting themselves from and fighting against arbitrary discrimination,” Rolando Jiménez, president of the Gay Integration and Liberation Movement (Movilh), told La Tercera.

Zamudio, an openly gay Chilean man, spent 24 days in a medically-induced coma following a brutal attack March 3 by members of a suspected neo-Nazi group; swastika symbols had been carved into his body.

Zamudio died on March 27 at the age of 24.

Chilean police arrested four men aged between ages 19 and 25, who denied attacking Zamudio and of being neo-Nazis. Prosecutors are seeking murder charges for the four men.

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