Chile Passes Hate-Crime Law In Wake Of Gay Man’s Brutal Murder

In Santiago, the Chilean government overwhelmingly passed a landmark hate-crimes law 25-to-3 last night, just months after neo-Nazis brutally murdered a young gay man in a city park.

The law, which had stalled for seven years, adds heightened punishments for hate crimes and allows citizens to file discrimination lawsuits.

In March, gay 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio slipped into a coma and died after being hit with bottles and rocks before having his ear sliced off, his body burnt with cigarettes and swastikas carved in his chest. His attackers, part of a vile collective called “nazis del Centro” (“the Downtown Nazis”), are awaiting trial for murder.

President Sebastian Pinera moved the hate-crimes law off the back burner after Zamudio’s death. According to the AP, politicians also are preparing to debate the Pinera’s proposed civil-union law.

“It’s an enormous culture change for our country,” said Sen. Alberto Espina, with the center-right ruling coalition.

“Chile is a country that discriminates against Mapuche (Indians), homosexuals, that discriminates against people for their nationality and for having disabilities,” he added. “We have to assume this as a reality instead of hiding it under the rug.”

Gay activist Rolando Jimenez said the passage of the law marked “the beginning of the end”of rampant discrimination against sexual and ethnic minorities and the disabled.  “Starting today, Chile is a better place to live,” he said.

Zamudio’s death is a tragic loss, but at least it appears it will not have been in vain.

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  • Belize

    Congratulations Chile. As for Daniel’s loved ones, I know that this will not bring Danile back but I hope that, at the VERY least, it brings you some glint of satisfaction and peace knowing that such tragedies may be lessen by this law. Here’s to hoping that Chile can implement this properly.

  • Hyhybt

    I still can’t get over the notion of Hispanic(?) Nazis.

    They fit right in with all the black Klansmen.

  • Ron

    Who were the 3 who voted against?

  • Eddie

    @Hyhybt: Chile’s population aren’t all ” hispanic ” as you wrote. The country received many immigrants from europe ( Spain, Italy, Germany etc ). Do you think ” Bachelet ” sounds ” hispanic “? It’s a french surname… Some latin american countries like Argentina and Uruguay are practically ‘ white countries ‘ and others like Brazil, Chile, Venezuela etc are partially ‘ white ‘. I think the countries that fit your term ” hispanic ” ( meannig: indian or mixed blood ) are Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru for exemple. Not all latin america is ” hispanic “…

  • Hyhybt

    Hence the “(?)”. I clearly indicated uncertainty.

  • J Stratford


    Yup Chile and Argentina are predominantly white, in the modern sense of the word. They were not “white” enough in the past, because they are not northern Europeans – mostly Italian, Spanish, southern German and southern French – people who were not considered “really” white until a few decades ago.

    I mean, here in the US, the Irish and Italians are still thought of as not white enough in some quarters – hence their strong ethnic identities.

    There were times when these southern europeans can sometimes be more “Nazi” than other whites, since they feel like they have to prove their superiority – hence people like Franco, Mussolini, etc.

    Glad that’s all in the past though. We are all better men than our ancestors.

  • Eddie

    @J Stratford: I understand that in both North Europe and ‘ Anglo-America’ people once and perhaps still think only them are/were whites and the world are all ‘collored’ but the truth is Southern Europeans always know what they are: Caucasian people from the mediterranean branch. So it doesn’t matter here what others think/thought about their skin tone and, unfortunaly there are the ones ( few ones ) in Latin America that belive in ‘Nazi’ ideology till the point to beat and kill a human being. I hope this hate finish one day.

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