Chilean teen loses foot, faces leg amputation following anti-gay attack


DAN LITTAUER | Special to LGBTQ Nation

PENALOLEN, Chile — A gay teen in Chile is facing leg amputation amputated following an attack last month by a gang of assailants wielding machetes, knives and iron-bars, and hurling anti-gay slurs.

Esteban Navarro, 19, suffered multiple injures in the violent June 23 attack by a group of six people who referred to him as “maricón” (faggot).

Esteban Navarro

Navarro has been hospitalized in critical condition since the attack. His foot has already been amputated and he will have to endure an additional 15-day surgery to remove his entire right leg. A medical report indicated Navarro received “multiple wounds on the scalp and face and a sharp injury in the right thigh, with active bleeding.”

According to investigators, the attack was instigated by a young man who discovered that his 40-year-old father is gay and allegedly had a relationship with Navarro.

Peñalolén police arrested Pedro León Clavería Pinto, 18, and two unidentified minors, ages 14 and 15, and who were charged with felony assault on June 24.

The suspects were released on bail with a restraining order forbidding them from approaching the victim.

The court assigned a local prosecutor and the case is now under investigation.

“We are very sad and concerned. We hope the courts will deliver justice and punish those responsible with the full extent of the law,” Navarro’s family said, in a statement. “Esteban’s life has changed dramatically after the homophobic attack.”

The LGBT advocacy group Homosexual Movement of Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) condemned the attack, and criticized police for failing to provide a statement clarifying the case.

“A young man lost his leg, and last May a 16-year-old trans girl 16 years lost an eye,” said MOVILH spokesperson Oscar Rementería. “While nearly all of [Chile’s] authorities condemned the murder of Daniel Zamudio, they have kept absolute silence on the two latter cases, which is reprehensible.”

“There are no hate crimes more or less important than others. They are all serious and ethically deserve a strong reaction from the authorities,” said Rementería.

Last year, Chilean president Sebastian Pinera signed an anti-discrimination measure into law making it a crime to commit acts of hatred against persons because of their sexual orientation.

The law had been held up in the Chilean national legislature by lawmakers for seven years, but was fast-tracked after after the Neo-Nazi killing of Zamudio, a gay man, in March 2012. Zamudio died three weeks after the attack.

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