Target: President Sebastián Pinera
Goal: Commend the Chilean government for enforcing an anti-discrimination law that protects LGBT rights.
For nearly seven years, Chile’s anti-discrimination law sat in its congressional offices, largely ignored and unenforced. But the recent attack and murder of a young man named Daniel Zamudio prompted the government to become more proactive about protecting Chile’s LGBT community.
Zamudio was reportedly tortured and beaten for hours in a park at the hands of four Chilean men. He had his right leg broken with a heavy stone, bottles smashed over his head and body and countless swastikas carved into him with broken glass. Zamudio was also burned with cigarettes and left to die. When he was discovered, Zamudio was taken to a nearby hospital where he expired just days later due to his injuries.
This vicious and cold-hearted attack garnered national attention and brought into question the lack of safety and protection for LGBT communities. Although same-sex activity isn’t illegal in Chile, that doesn’t stop many of its citizens from discriminating against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered Chileans.
Hate crimes, in particular, go unreported and have been handled apathetically by law enforcement. The unimaginable crime carried out by Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora, the men who murdered Daniel Zamudio, will finally be recognized as an act of ‘extreme cruelty…[and]…total disrespect for human life’ — the first of its kind in Chilean history. The men are expected to receive terms ranging anywhere from eight years to life in prison.
By signing this petition you’ll thank the Chilean government for recognizing the rights of its LGBT citizens by upholding the anti-discrimination law, and fight for justice to be served for others like Daniel Zamudio.
Dear President Sebastián Pinera,
Recently, a young man named Daniel Zamudio was cruelly maimed, beaten and left for dead by four Chilean men, because of his sexual orientation. Your decision to uphold the anti-discrimination law and include hate-crime sentences for these men is commendable and deserves to be applauded.
Chile, like any other country, is home to an LGBT community that deserves to be recognized, respected and treated like their heterosexual counterparts. It is saddening that it took a callous and cruel attack to get your government to understand the importance of protecting your LGBT citizens, but nonetheless, your efforts to become an advocate for LGBT rights through this ruling sends a strong message to other countries about the seriousness of the matter.
I truly hope that you exercise your influence and continue to be a valorous voice for Chile’s LGBT community, so that your citizens can live safely and happily knowing that they will never have to become victims of a monstrous hate-crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: US Chamber via Flickr