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Chile: Four men found guilty of murdering gay man

Judge says Daniel Zamudio's killers committed a crime of 'extreme cruelty' and showed 'total disrespect for human life'

Daniel Zamudio was tortured and murdered in a Santiago park. Credit:

A Chilean judge has found four men guilty of the murder of Daniel Zamudio, a 24-year-old gay man who was beaten, burned with cigarettes and had swastikas carved into his skin in a Santiago park.

Zamudio died in hospital 20 days after the attack, which occurred in March last year.

Judge Juan Carlos Urrutia said Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora committed a crime of "extreme cruelty" and showed "total disrespect for human life," The Associated Press reports. Sentencing is set for Oct 28.

Months after Zamudio's murder, the Chilean Congress passed hate-crime legislation that had been bogged down for years.

People refer to the new legislation as the Zamudio law, which allows people to file anti-discrimination lawsuits and makes provision for hate-crime sentences for violent crimes.

Conservative President Sebastián Piñera, who has faced criticism for his handling of social issues, signed off on the legislation, saying, "Daniel's death was painful, but it was not in vain."