Chilean leaders have condemned a brutal attack on a gay man over the weekend that left him so badly beaten that he has had to be put into a medically induced coma.
Twenty-four year-old Daniel Zamudio had to be treated for severe head trauma and a broken right leg suffered in Saturday’s beating, and reports also say that Zamudio suffered a number of strokes as a result of the attack. A swastika was drawn on the victim’s chest and as a result of this, and reports of prior harassment, the assault is believed to have been perpetrated by a group of neo-Nazis.
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.
Meanwhile the victim’s parents, Ivan and Jacqueline Zamudio, have told the press that this attack isn’t the first time their son has been assaulted, saying that he had previously been harassed by a neo-Nazi group.
Doctors are optimistic that Zamudio should recover, but that the next few days will be critical.
Daniel Zamundio is still in the ICU at Posta Central, but the hospital’s director, Emilio Villalon, expects the man to recover.
Villalon told the press that Zamundio has been progressing favorably, but the next 48 hours are crucial.
“His evolution has been favorable and it seems he seems like he will improve,” Villalon said. “[The wounds] in a few months will be nothing but small scars. They are not too deep.”
Puerto Rican-born singer Ricky Martin has also taken to Twitter to condemn the attack, saying: ”No more hatred, no more discrimination. I hope that justice is done NOW. Lots of light to Daniel and his whole family.”
The attack has produced new calls for a hate crimes law to be enacted among other specific nondiscrimination provisions to cover the country’s gay population.