Following a brutal beating that resulted in a 24-year-old gay man's death in March, Chile, on Thursday, became one of the last Latin American nations to pass an anti-discrimination law.
Conservative president Sebastian Pinera's was under pressure to act following Daniel Zamudio's death. The hate crimes bill had actually been proposed prior to Pinera taking office, but had been tied up in Chile's Congress for the past 7 years.
More after the jump.
Police have arrested 4 suspects who have been charged with beating Zamudio for an hour, burning him with cigarettes and carving swastikas into his skin. It's believed that Zamudio was targeted because he was gay. Zamudio died on March 27 from his injuries.
According to The Chicago Tribune, "With the new law, those accused of hate crimes will be served harsher sentences and could be fined up to $3,600."
Speaking at a press conference, where Zamudio's parents were present, Pinera said, “Without a doubt, Daniel's death was painful but it was not in vain."
He continued, “His passing not only unified wills to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated [against] someone? … After his death we'll think twice, thrice or four times before we fall prey to that behavior."
Let's hope this anti-discrimination legislation leads to substantive change within the country.