UN calls for harsher hate crime laws in Chile

Chilean anti-discrimination laws should cover sexual orientation, says UN after killing of gay man Daniel Zamudio

UN calls for harsher hate crime laws in Chile
30 March 2012

The UN is urging Chile to pass tougher hate crime laws after the death of a young gay man attacked by neo-Nazis.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called for the South American country to introduce new anti-discrimination laws, following the 'abhorrent murder' of 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio.

The clothing store salesman was viciously beaten and had swastikas carved into his chest in Chile’s capital city, Santiago, on 3 March and was pronounced dead on Tuesday (27 March) evening after fighting for his life in a coma for more than three weeks.

Colville told reporters in Geneva today (30 March) that Chilean lawmakers should make violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity 'an aggravating factor' in prosecutions.

Four men have been arrested and jailed on attempted murder charges, some of whom already have criminal records for attacks on gays.

However, prosecutor Ernesto Vazquez is calling for the charges to be upped to premeditated murder, carrying maximum life sentences if convicted.

He said the attack was clearly motivated by homophobia.

New anti-discrimination legislation is currently being considered by the Chilean congress.

Discussion on the anti-discrimination law started in congress in 2005 and was passed in November, 2011. The law included measures against discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

However, on 4 January, the Constitutional Tribunal, headed by a group of senators from Chile’s conservative Independent Democratic Union, put forward an amendment revoking Article 2 of the law, which applies to sexual diversity.

Pressure has now been mounting for the government to reinstate the full law.



No thumbnail available

How design star Nate Berkus explained to his father that he was born gay

'I said, 'Why would I choose to make my life more difficult?'
No thumbnail available

Cast of HBO's Looking opens up to Gay Star News about their hopes for the show's future

Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Frankie J Alvarez, Raul Castillo and Daniel Franzese want to keep doing the beloved show with a small but rabid fan base
No thumbnail available

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman hints Daryl could be gay

Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman won’t rule out a gay subplot in a future season of AMC’s hit zombie apocalypse series, and character Daryl Dixon, played by actor Norman Reedus, could be the one to get it
Hallmark defends de-gaying ‘Deck the Halls’ carol

Hallmark defends de-gaying ‘Deck the Halls’ carol

Hallmark has defended replacing the word ‘gay’ with ‘fun’ in the traditional Christmas carol Deck the Halls as part of its Christmas decorations line this year
No thumbnail available

Russian coach blames gays for Olympic wrestling being axed

A Russian coach says if they expel the sport from the 2020 Games, 'gays will soon run the whole world'
No thumbnail available

Uganda president confirms: I will make anti-gay bill law

Yoweri Museveni has challenged the US government to prove people can be born gay, and if they can, then Uganda will review anti-gay laws
No thumbnail available

Dutch LGBT rights advocate says Japan is starting along path to gay marriage

Borris Dittrich, former Dutch MP and LGBT director for Human Rights Watch, said 'the start is happening now'
No thumbnail available

White House holds LGBT health summit

White House LGBT health conference held in Philadelphia
No thumbnail available

'Gay marriage was an election promise' Tories tell rebel MPs

Gay Conservatives hit back at claims that Prime Minister David Cameron has 'no mandate to redefine marriage'
No thumbnail available

Meet the world’s first trans footballer to play in the World Cup

Jaiyah Saelua, from American Samoa, has spoken out about the importance of fighting against homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination before the first big match