Chileans voice outrage after gay man brutally beaten
- 7 March 2012
- From the section Latin America & Caribbean
Chilean political leaders have added their voices to widespread condemnation of a savage attack on a young gay man that left him with multiple injuries.
Daniel Zamudio, 24, has been in a medically induced coma since Saturday's attack by unidentified assailants.
He had swastika-like shapes drawn on his chest, fuelling speculation that neo-Nazis were involved.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said efforts would be stepped up to pass an anti-discrimination law.
"We're going to give added urgency to the anti-discrimination law," said Mr Hinzpeter, referring to legislation currently being considered by the Chilean congress.
Chile should also consider passing a hate-crime law, he said.
Mr Zamudio was left with severe head injuries and a broken right leg after being attacked in Santiago.
He is on a ventilator and in an induced coma, but doctors say he is out of immediate danger.
Mr Zamudio's parents said it was not the first time he had been targeted because of his sexual orientation, and that his attackers were neo-Nazis.
A group representing gay rights in Chile, Movilh, has launched a publicity campaign to appeal for witnesses.
"It wasn't a one-off event, violence by neo-Nazi groups keeps happening," Rolando Jimenez from Movilh told BBC Mundo.
Prosecutors say they do not have firm evidence of neo-Nazi involvement but it is a possibility given the victim's profile, previous incidents, and the suspected swastika marks.