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Chilean leaders call for hate crimes law after brutal attack on gay man

SANTIAGO, Chile — A brutal attack on a gay Chilean man over the past weekend has drawn sharp criticism over the lack of LGBT-inclusive hate crime laws in the South American country.

Doctors in Santiago said 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio had been put in a medically induced coma while being treated for severe head trauma and a broken right leg suffered in the attack on Saturday by unidentified assailants.

Zamudio also had swastika-like shapes drawn on his chest, fueling speculation that neo-Nazis were involved.

Chile’s Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter posted a message on his Twitter account saying he repudiated the homophobic attack and expressed “total solidarity” with Zamudio, reported the Associated Press.

Hinzpeter recently said Chile should consider enacting a hate crime law to help “eradicate” violence against homosexuals.

Opposition politician Gabriel Silver also condemned the beating and urged the government to move quickly to establish anti-discrimination legislation.

Zamudio’s parents said it was not the first time their son had been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

A group representing gay rights in Chile, Movilh, has launched a publicity campaign to appeal for witnesses.

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