Fundación Daniel Zamudio, a foundation established in Daniel Zamudio’s memory, on Monday said in a press release that it appears candles left at the memorial sparked the fire that damaged it. Initial reports indicated that vandals had set the blaze.
— Fundación D Zamudio (@fdanielzamudio) November 23, 2015
The memorial, which is located in Parque San Borja in the Chilean capital of Santiago, is located at the exact spot where four self-described neo-Nazis attacked Zamudio on March 3, 2012, because he was gay.
Zamudio succumbed to his injuries several weeks later.
Zamudio’s death prompted Chilean lawmakers to approve an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes and anti-discrimination bill that had languished in the country’s Congress for seven years. Then-President Sebastián Piñera in July 2012 signed the measure — which bares Zamudio’s name — into law.
The four men who were convicted of killing Zamudio received sentences that range from 7-years to life in prison.
“It started a small ‘click’ in the people’s minds,” Jaime Parada Hoyl, a gay councilman in the Santiago neighborhood of Providencia, told the Washington Blade in 2012 during an interview in D.C. “This case was an earthquake of a loss of a human life, but it was a point of inflection.”
Chilean lawmakers in the years following Zamudio’s death have extended civil unions to same-sex couples.
Chile co-sponsored a resolution against anti-LGBT violence and discrimination that the U.N. Human Rights Council ratified in September 2014. The South American country and the U.S. in August co-hosted the first-ever LGBT-specific U.N. Security Council meeting that focused on the Islamic State’s persecution of Iraqis and Syrians accused of committing sodomy.
Chile is also a member of the Global Equality Fund, a private-public partnership managed by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development that seeks to promote LGBT rights around the world.