miércoles, 28 de marzo de 2012

Chilean attacked over sexual orientation dies from injuries

Daniel Zamudio, the 24-year-old Chilean attacked by members of a neo-nazi group for his sexual orientation, died from his injuries on Tuesday night, hospital officials said.

Emilio Villalón, the director of the Posta Central Hospital in Santiago, said that the young man passed away at 7:45 p.m. after spending more than three weeks in a coma fighting for his life.

“The entire team has worked hard and intensely using every necessary resource for his trauma, but regrettably he has died,” Villalón told Cooperativa. “We regret this very much because it has generated a very important injustice against the community.”

On March 3, Zamudio was attached near Parque San Borja in the early morning. His attackers burned him with cigarettes, cut his ear open, and carved swastikas into his skin. He was admitted to the hospital and fell into a coma.

Doctors had expressed some hope in Zamudio’s recovery, but his condition deteriorated over the past few days. Doctors said signs indicated that he had suffered tremendous and irreversible brain damage.

His case has brought Chile’s Antidiscrimintaion Law into the spotlight with the gay rights group, Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), pushing for the legislation to provide greater protection for the LGBT community.

“He’s a victim of intolerance, of homophobia, and of the hate that some have grown,” Movilh spokesperson Jaime Parada told El mostrador.

On Tuesday evening, friends, community members, and various politicians, including Health Minister Jaime Mañalich and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, all showed up at the hospital to show support for the Zamudio family.

Iván Zamudio, the victim’s father, asked for respect as the family mourns their loss. Parada, meanwhile, demanded that the politicians who rejected the Antidiscrimination Law give Chile an explanation.

“The 33 UDI deputies, the nine of the National Renewal, and the one from the Christian Democrat that put the requirement before the Constitutional Court are all morally responsible for what happened to Daniel and for what is happening to many other Daniels in distinct parts of Chile,” he said.

By Nathan Frandino (Frandino@santiagotimes.cl)
28/03/2012 - The Santiago Times

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