Chile’s president signed a hate crimes bill yesterday (12 July).
The legislation, pending since 2005 and approved by Congress in May 2012, will now allow people to file anti-discrimination lawsuits for crimes committed against them based on their sexual orientation, race, gender, religion or nationality.
Jaime Parada, spokesperson for Movilh, Chile’s leading sexual minority organization, said in an interview with La Red: ‘This was not just about approving the law, but also bringing forth powerful discussions that contextualized what anti-discrimination really means’.
Parada, who told Gay Star News in an interview last month that Movilh has been pushing for the anti-discrimination law since 2002, said that the law ensures the protection and integration of different groups, not just the LGBT community, into society.
The law also boosts anti-discrimination policies in schools and public service venues.
President Sebastian Pinera fast-tracked the law after a 24-year-old gay Chilean Daniel Zamudio was brutally beaten and killed for being gay by a group of self-identified neo-Nazis.
Patricio IvÃ¡n Ahumada Garay, FabiÃ¡n Alexis Mora Mora, Alejandro Axel Angulo Tapia and RaÃºl Alfonso LÃ³pez now face charges of second-degree homicide for Zamudio’s murder.
‘Without a doubt, Daniel’s death was painful but it was not in vain’, Pinera said at a press conference joined by Zamudio’s parents.