Chile president signs hate crime bill

[JURIST] Chile enacted an anti-discrimination law Thursday following the March beating death of a young gay man in a Santiago park. The hate crime bill [materials, in Spanish], which had been tied up in Congress for seven years after being originally introduced by ex-president Ricardo Lagos, was signed into law by President Sebastian Pinera [official profile, in Spanish], providing for harsher sentences and fines up to USD $3,600 for those accused of hate crimes. Conservative Pinera has been under fire on social issues [Reuters report] from students, union workers and environmentalists since taking office in 2010, with his approval ratings setting at the lowest levels for a Chilean leader since the end of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in 1990. Daniel Zamudio, 24, was attacked by a group of alleged neo-Nazis who reportedly beat him for an hour, burned him with cigarettes and carved swastikas into his skin. He died [AP report] in a public hospital 20 days afterward.

The Chilean House of Deputies [official website, in Spanish] passed the hate crime bill [JURIST report] in early April. In late March, following Zamudio's death, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] had urged the Chilean government [JURIST report] to pass an anti-discrimination law. Earlier that month the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] urged member states to put an end to sexual orientation-based violence [JURIST report] and discrimination. Last year the UNHRC passed the "Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity" resolution [draft, PDF], the first resolution to call for an end to sexuality discrimination worldwide [JURIST report]. The UN has attempted to pass resolutions aimed at ending sexuality discrimination worldwide but has faced difficulty passing resolutions on gay rights issues.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.