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Calls for anti-discrimination law renewed after gay killed

Published:Friday | March 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM

SANTIAGO (AP):

Prosecutors in Chile asked for murder charges Wednesday in the death of a young gay man whose attackers brutally beat him and carved swastikas into his body.

Daniel Zamudio died Tuesday night, 25 days after he was attacked. The case has prompted a national debate in Chile over hate crimes, with President Sebastian Pinera saying from Asia that his government won't rest until a proposed anti-discrimination law is passed.

Four suspects have been jailed on attempted murder charges, some of whom already have criminal records for attacks on gays.

Hours after Zamudio's death, prosecutor Ernesto Vazquez formally requested that the charges be changed to premeditated murder, carrying maximum life sentences if convicted. He said the attack was clearly motivated by homophobia.

Gay activists weren't satisfied. The leader of Chile's Gay Liberation and Integration Movement, Rolando Jimenez, said the suspects should be charged with torture as well.

Zamudio, a clothing store salesman, was attacked in a park in Santiago on March 3. The suspects allegedly beat him for an hour, burning him with cigarettes and carving Nazi symbols into his body.