Attack on gay man draws calls for action

March 7, 2012 at 10:17 AM
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SANTIAGO, Chile, March 7 (UPI) -- Chile's interior minister said society must "eradicate" violence against homosexuals after a brutal attack on a 24-year-old gay man left him in a coma.

Daniel Zamudio has been in a coma at Posta Central Hospital in Santiago since the weekend after he was attacked by a group of suspected neo-Nazis, The Santiago Times reported Wednesday.

Zamudio suffered multiple broken bones and strokes and his attackers carved swastikas into his skin, burned him with cigarettes and cut his ear open.

"There is nothing more detestable than to build a fraternal society that disrespects and disregards diversity," Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said in a statement. "I think the violence displayed in attacking Daniel Zamudio for his sexual orientation is behavior that, as a society, we need to eradicate once and for all."

Demonstrators gathered outside Posta Central Hospital Tuesday evening to draw attention to the attack and call on the government to act against violence toward homosexuals.

Rolando Jimenez, the president of the gay rights group Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, said the organization is calling for an "urgent meeting" with Hinzpeter.

"The Chilean state cannot afford to have a passive attitude about violence toward homosexuals," Jiminez said.

Zamudio's father, Ivan Zamudio, said his son had been threatened and had been harassed by neo-Nazis.

The victim was in the intensive-care unit and was expected to recover, hospital director Emilio Villalon said.

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