Daniel Zamudio, the 24 year old gay man who was left in a coma after being brutally assaulted in a park in Santiago, has died. Doctors on Tuesday confirmed that Daniel had passed away hours after tests revealed that his brain showed no signs of life.
Despite having shown minor improvements in the weeks before his death, Emilio Villalón, director of the medical facility where Daniel was being treated, informed the press on Friday that due to the extent of his injuries, the neurological damage would lead to brain death.
Daniel had been in the hospital for over three weeks after, according to the authorities, a group of alleged neo-nazis brutally beat him and left him unconscious. He sustained multiple injuries, including a laceration to his ear and various cigarette burns across his body. In addition, his assailants left his abdomen marked with swastikas.
On Thursday of last week, friends, family supporters held a candle light vigil at San Borja Park — the location of the attack — demanding justice for Daniel. The event was coordinated by the Movement for Gay Liberation and Integration (MOVILH), who has stood by the family’s side since news of the attack came to light.
Police have already arrested four men in connection with the crime: Alejandro Tapia Axel Angulo (26), Raul Alfonso Lopez Fuentes (25), Patricio Ahumada Ivan Garay (25), and Fabian Alexis Mora Mora (19). Jaime Silva, lawyer for Daniel’s family, is intent on pursuing a life sentence for the attackers.
Via Twitter, MOVILH informed its followers of Daniel’s death and sent its condolences to Daniel’s family saying “All the strength for his family. You [Daniel] have made history. Your passing has not been in vain.”
MOVILH statement may soon ring true. The news of Daniel’s attack, and now subsequent death, has sparked a sense of urgency in the community to secure the passing of the LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination law that currently awaits approval from the Chilean Chamber of Deputies. Various political leaders, including Chilean Vice-President Rodrigo Hinzpeter have given their support for the measure.