Chile: four are sentenced for gay youth’s death

On Oct. 28 the Fourth Oral Criminal Court in Santiago, Chile, sentenced Patricio Ahumada Garay to life in prison for a brutal assault on Daniel Zamudio, a gay young man, on Mar. 3, 2012; Zamudio died of his injuries three weeks later. The court sentenced three other men to prison for participating in the assault: Alejandro Angulo and Raúl López were each given 15 years in prison, and Fabián Mora Mora seven years. The sentences were the same as those requested by the prosecutor, Ernesto Vásquez, and by Jaime Silva, the attorney for the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement (Movilh), except in the case of Fabián Mora; the lawyers had asked for an eight-year sentence.

Zamudio’s death brought public attention to violence against LGBT people in Chile and resulted in the passage of the Zamudio Law, an anti-discrimination law that had languished in Congress for seven years. But hate crimes appear to be continuing. Wladimir Sepúlveda, a 21-year-old youth, was severely beaten on Oct. 20 on the Avenida Independencia in San Francisco de Mostazal, a city in the central O’Higgins region. He was hospitalized with cranial injuries, and as of Oct. 29 his life was thought to be at risk. LGBT rights activists suspect that the beating was a homophobic assault. (Adital, Brazil, Oct. 29)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, November 10.