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Chilean Teen to Have Leg Removed After Hate Crime Attack

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jul 9, 2013
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A gay teen from Chile will have is leg amputated due to injuries he suffered from an anti-gay hate crime where he was jumped by six attackers, holding iron bars and knives, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports.

Esteban Navarro, 19, was violently attacked on June 23 by a gang of six on a soccer field. The gang beat the teen using a machete, knives and iron bars. Navarro was sent to the emergency room and doctors were forced to amputate his foot. But according to local media, the teen will now have to have his leg removed.

"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," the family said in a statement issued by Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, an LGBT rights organization.

As Gay Star News reports, gay rights activists are pointing the finger at the police, saying they failed to take the necessary action against anti-gay hate crimes in the country. Even Oscar Rementria of MOVILH, criticized the "absence of statements" from authorities.

"A young man has lost his leg, and last May a trans girl aged 16 lost an eye," he said. "All the authorities have kept their silence on these two cases, which is reprehensible."

A similar attack occurred in March 2012, when four neo-Nazis murdered Daniel Zamudio, 24, in Santiago, the capital of Chile. The attackers brutally beat him and carved swastikas into his body. In July, Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera, signed an anti-discrimination law, which had been stuck in Congress for seven years.

"Without a doubt, Daniel’s death was painful but it was not in vain," Pinera said at a press conference joined by Zamudio’s parents. "His passing not only unified wills to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated someone? ... After his death we’ll think twice, thrice or four times before we fall prey to that behavior."

MOVILH reports that from 2002 to 2012, 20 people were killed in Chile because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. There were 965 cases of discrimination, however.

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