Chilean leaders condemn brutal beating of gay man amid calls for hate crime legislation

Santiago, Chile – A brutal attack on a gay Chilean man drew strong condemnation from political leaders and entertainer Ricky Martin on Tuesday.

Doctors in Santiago said 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio had been put in an induced coma while being treated for severe head trauma and a broken right leg suffered in Saturday’s beating.

A swastika was drawn on the victim’s chest by the unidentified assailants, leading to speculation that neo-Nazis may have attacked him. Prosecutors said Tuesday that they had no definite evidence of neo-Nazi involvement but were continuing to investigate that possibility.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter posted a message on his Twitter account Tuesday saying he repudiated the homophobic attack and expressed “total solidarity” with Zamudio. Hinzpeter recently said Chile should consider enacting a hate crime law to deal with such attacks.

Opposition politician Gabriel Silver also condemned the beating and urged the government to move quickly on the anti-discrimination legislation.

Martin, a Puerto Rican-born singer, also used his Twitter account to condemn the attack.

Source – The Wahsington Post