Chilean Man Dies After Alleged Anti-Gay Attack
A 21-year-old gay man from Chile has died Sunday after being brutally beaten in an alleged anti-gay hate crime in October, El País reports.
Wladimir Sepúlveda Arce was reportedly attacked by at least six people when he was walking home with a friend after leaving swimming in a river in San Francisco de Mostazal, which is south of Santiago, the capital of Chile, according to the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement, the South American country’s largest LGBT group.
The organization and Sepúlveda’s family announced that they will press chargers against the suspects under an anti-gay discrimination bill that was signed into law in 2012 in the wake of the violent death of Daniel Zamuido, who was also gay.
"This latest death just goes to show how much more we have to advance as a society," Álvaro Elizalde, a government spokesman, said in a statement. "We hope that justice will be served, the facts of the case are cleared, and the corresponding punishment is determined."
According to a friend who was with Sepúlveda on the day he was attacked, a group of four men and two women approached him on Oct. 20 for a light for a cigarette.
HILM says only Christopher Morales Flores came under investigation for the attack. Morales Flores, however, claims he acted in self-defense and only lightly punched Sepúlveda. The judge who heard the case ruled that the attack was not a hate crime and that it was normal for people to insult each other with regards to their sexual orientation during a physical altercation. Nevertheless, Morales Flores was put under house arrest.
The LGBT group has criticized Judge Pablo Aceituno and says that Morales Flores is keeping quiet about the other suspects in the incident.