Roughly 300 people took part in a candlelight vigil in the Chilean capital on Saturday to honor a gay man who was brutally attacked last March.
Daniel Zamudio’s friends and family members joined LGBT rights advocates and others who marched to the park in downtown Santiago in which four self-described neo-Nazis allegedly attacked the 24-year-old with bottles, rocks and other objects on March 3, 2012. Zamudio succumbed to his injuries several weeks later.
The attack sparked widespread outrage across Chile.
President Sebastián Piñera last July signed an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes and anti-discrimination bill that had languished in the South American country’s Congress for seven years. Jaime Parada Hoyl, spokesperson for the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation who last October became the first openly gay political candidate elected in Chile, told the Washington Blade last fall while in D.C. on a State Department-sponsored trip he feels Zamudio’s death highlighted efforts to combat anti-LGBT discrimination and violence in the country.
“On the first anniversary of the attack against Daniel Zamudio, his legacy is more alive than ever,” Parada told the Blade from Santiago on Monday. “The Zamudio case revealed that there had been a profound disconnect and incomprehension with respect to our value as citizens and people.”
He added Chileans are now “more sensitive” to the needs of their LGBT countrymen.
Movil said prosecutor Ernesto Vásquez assured Zamudio’s parents during a Feb. 25 meeting the trial of the four men who allegedly attacked their son will begin in May.
Patricio Ahumada Garay, whom prosecutors maintain masterminded the attack, could face life in prison if found guilty. The three other men charged in Zamudio’s death could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.