January 18, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
Chilean man attacked during alleged anti-gay hate crime dies

Chile, vigil, Santiago, gay news, Washington Blade, Daniel Zamudio

Chilean LGBT rights advocates maintain hate crimes remain a serious problem in the country nearly two years after Daniel Zamudio’s death. (Photos courtesy of Fundación Daniel Zamudio.)

A Chilean LGBT advocacy group has urged authorities to prosecute a man accused of killing a business owner under the country’s hate crimes law.

Guillermo Aguilera Guerrero, 18, on Jan. 6 allegedly slashed Alejandro Alfredo Bustamante Godoy’s throat with a kitchen knife during an attack inside his home in the coastal city of Valparaíso. The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh) said Aguilera also stabbed Bustamante, 59, in his head and leg during the incident.

Bustamante, who owned a local fast food restaurant, remained in critical condition in a Valparaíso hospital until he passed away on Jan. 15.

Bustamante’s relatives and Movilh lawyers on Friday asked a Valparaíso court to charge Aguilera under Chile’s LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law. The group said Aguilera had previously taunted Bustamante because of his sexual orientation — Movilh said in a press release that an anti-gay slur was written onto the front of Bustamante’s restaurant on the same day Aguilera allegedly attacked him.

“[Aguilera] always had a bad disposition when he came to buy something at my brother’s business,” said Bustamante’s daughter in a Movilh press release.

President Sebastián Piñera in 2012 signed into law a hate crimes and anti-discrimination bill that includes both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The statute is named in honor of Daniel Zamudio, a 24-year-old man whom a group of self-described neo-Nazis beat to death inside a park in Santiago, the country’s capital, earlier that year because he was gay.

The convicted mastermind of the attack against Zamudio last October received a life sentence for the crime.

Movilh and other gay rights advocates maintain anti-LGBT violence remains a serious problem in the South American country in spite of the law that Piñera signed.

Willian Villanueva, a small-time drug dealer, reportedly said he was going to “kill a faggot” before he allegedly shot Arturo Lombo to death with a shotgun in the Santiago suburb of Puente Alto on Dec. 26.

Doctors last June amputated Esteban Navarro Quinchevil’s leg after a group of six men attacked him in a Santiago suburb of Peñalolén because he is gay. A transgender teenager from the coastal city of Cartagena the month before lost an eye during what Movilh maintains was an anti-trans attack.

Movilh said two victims of anti-gay attacks that took place in recent weeks remain in critical condition in Santiago hospitals.

“We are tremendously concerned, affected, saddened and upset by what is happening,” said Movilh after Bustamante died.

President-elect Michelle Bachelet said she supports efforts to strengthen Chile’s hate crimes and anti-discrimination law.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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