More homophobic attacks in Chile despite new hate crime law

A 16 year old girl has been stabbed by her girlfriend’s relatives and a gay man has had his teeth knocked out in homophobic attacks only days after Chile signed new hate crimes legislation into law

More homophobic attacks in Chile despite new hate crime law
20 July 2012

A 16 year old lesbian has been stabbed in the Chilean city of Santa Juana by two of her girlfriend’s cousins who opposed the relationship.

Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) president Rolando Jimenez told news media that Valeska Salazar’s girlfriend’s family had never accepted the relationship.

‘The girl’s father, Mr. Luis Salazar, has made it clear that, for some time, his daughter and his family were harassed by the family of the second, only because of the loving bond between them,’ Jimenez said.

‘This is a homophobic attack by any measure … This is horrible and deserves total social and legal condemnation.’

Jimenez called on the state to fund anti-homophobia education campaigns to end this kind of violence.

‘Violence toward LGBTs is a daily problem and can reach extremes as serious as what we’ve seen today, so it is imperative that the government implement campaigns to stop these acts of violence which are endangering the lives of people, including young people.’

According to an annual report into the human rights of LGBTs in Chile, homophobic attacks have been on the rise in the country since 2002.

Valeska Salazar had to be moved to a second hospital following the stabbing but is reportedly now recovering.

The news came on the same day that it was reported that a 23 year old Punta Arenas man lost three teeth in an apparent homophobic assault after being harassed at other times due to his sexuality.

President Sebastian Pinera fast-tracked the hate crime law after 24 year old gay man Daniel Zamudio was brutally beaten and killed for being gay in March by a group of Chilean neo-Nazis.

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