Chile Hub




Civil Union Bill Advances in Chile

A bill legalizing same-sex civil unions has been approved by the Senate of Chile, The Santiago Times reports:

ChileSenators voted in favor of the Life Partner Agreement (AVP) late Tuesday evening with 28 votes in favor, six against and two abstentions. The bill will now pass to a constitutional assembly before returning to Congress on Jan. 20.

The country’s leading LGBTQ organization hailed the outcome as significant step toward passing a law which “the majority of the country” wants.

“We are happy for this significant progress towards bettering conditions and equality for all families, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identification of its members,” a Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh) statement read. “Today we have made one more step in the struggle for civil unions, which we began a decade ago. What was a dream is now becoming real.”

The bill had languished in legislative waters for two years due to right-wing opposition, as well as other concerns that the bill could eventually lead to gay marriage. Incoming President-elect Michelle Bachelet (below right) ran on a platform which promised to send a same-sex marriage bill to Congress following an “open debate” on the issue.

BacheletBut Movilh remains skeptical of the former president as well, as spokesman Oscar Rementería told The Santiago Times early Tuesday.

“When Michelle Bachelet was last president [2006-2010] she promised three things regarding sexual equality, none of which her administration delivered,” he said. “As such, we cannot have complete confidence that she is going to deliver what she promises this time around.”

It remains to be seen if the bill will become law before President Sebastián Piñera leaves office in March. 


Four Men Sentenced for Brutal Murder of Gay Chilean Daniel Zamudio

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Four men who were found guilty this month of the March 2012 murder of gay Chilean Daniel Zamudio have been sentenced.

Attackers_zamudioJudge Juan Carlos Urrutia said in mid-October that Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora are guilty of a crime of "extreme cruelty" and "total disrespect for human life."

Zamudio, was fatally beaten, stabbed, burned, and branded with a Swastika in March 2012. He spent several days clinging to life in a hospital before he died and his brutal killing at the hands of the four neo-Nazis has been compared to that of Matthew Shepard.

The AP reports:

The three-judge panel imposed a life sentence on Patricio Ahumada Garay. It sentenced two others to 15 terms, and another was sentenced to seven years. Zamudio's family and friends clapped as the sentences were read out.

 


Killers of Daniel Zamudio, 'Chile's Matthew Shepard', Found Guilty

Zamudio

Four men have been found guilty of the murder of gay Chilean Daniel Zamudio, whose brutal killing at the hands of neo-Nazis recalled that of Matthew Shepard.

Attackers_zamudioJudge Juan Carlos Urrutia said Thursday that Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora are guilty of a crime of "extreme cruelty" and "total disrespect for human life."

Zamudio, was fatally beaten, stabbed, burned, and branded with a Swastika in March 2012. He spent several days clinging to life in a hospital before he died.

Zamudio's attackers were arrested shortly thereafter.

Zamudio's murder prompted the legislature to pass long-pending hate crimes legislation inclusive of sexual orientation just a week after the horrific crime. The legislation had been proposed seven years earlier.

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Chilean Teen To Have Leg Amputated After Anti-gay Attack

Esteban NavarroAfter suffering severe injuries in an anti-gay attack, a 19 year-old gay Chilean will now have to have his leg amputated as the result of his injuries. 

Esteban Navarro was the victim of a vicious attack by six men on June 23, where the perpetrators reportedly shouted anti-gay slurs while brutalizing him with a machete, knives, and iron bars. Navarro was subsequently rushed to the hospital in serious condition, where doctors had to amputate the teen's foot. Now, less than a month later, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News is reporting that Navarro will have to have his entire leg removed. 

Navarro's family issued a statement via the gay rights group MOVILH:

"We are very sad and concerned. Expect that here there is justice and punish those responsible to the fullest extent of the law. Esteban's life has changed dramatically in a homophobic attack."

This attack is just one of several anti-gay hate crimes that have recently taken place in Chile. Towleroad has previously reported an attack that took place in March of 2012 that claimed the life of Daniel Zamudio. Chile subsequently passed legal protections for gay Chileans in the wake of the incident. However, MOVILH is now arguing that the Chilean autorities need to do more to prevent subsequent attacks. Spokesman Oscar Rementería criticized "the lack of public pronouncements by authorities on this case. Apparently for some solidarity and commitment to non-discrimination is determined by the media impact of a particular event, rather than by the severity of the violations." He went on to say...

"A young man lost his leg last May, a young transsexual lost an eye and here almost all of the authorities condemned the murder of Daniel Zamudio , have kept absolute silence on the two latter cases, which is unacceptable."


Chile's Copahue Volcano Ready To Blow Its Top: VIDEO

Copahue

The Copahue Volcano in Southeast Chile is blowing off some steam this holiday season, and Chilean authorities are concerned enough about the temperamental volcano's disposition that they've issued a red alert, though aren't going so far as to order evacuations for the area.

In a statement, Chile's Geological and Mining Service stressed that no mandatory evacuations have been ordered around the remote volcano, which lies about 280 kilometers southeast (175 miles) of Concepcion, though the closest roads to it are in Argentina.

Even though the seismic activity suggests a minor eruption, the agency decided to raise the alert level because it could not rule out a major eruption. The service warned specifically about potentially dangerous mudslides within a 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) radius of the crater.

Alto Biobio, a community about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Copahue, is under the heightened alert. The governor and emergency officials in Biobio province met Sunday afternoon to discuss possible scenarios, including establishing a plan in case a mass evacuation is deemed necessary.

Minor eruptions were first detected around the mountain, which last erupted in 2000, on Saturday, and the plume of gas has spread steadily over the past few days, potentially providing the region's residents with a Christmas white with ash instead of snow.

Check out some video of the volcano doing its thing AFTER THE JUMP.

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Continue reading "Chile's Copahue Volcano Ready To Blow Its Top: VIDEO" »


Madonna Will Not Tolerate Smoking During Her Sound Check: VIDEO

Madgesmoking

Madonna, oh she who loathes hydrangeas, gave Chilean fans a piece of her mind yesterday when they were smoking during her sound check, something the singer simply will not stand for. She'll even call off the show!

On another note, Madonna's MDNA tour grossed $248 million in 2012, making it the most lucrative tour of the year.

Watch Madonna go after smokers, complete with not-for-work language, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Madonna Will Not Tolerate Smoking During Her Sound Check: VIDEO" »


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