Two Hate Crimes Already Causing Attention in Chile at the Start of 2019

Movilh (Movement of Homosexual Integration and Liberation), Chile’s leading LGBTQ organization, has reported two horrific cases of homophobic attacks in the last week. In Spanish on their website, the organization shared the violent attacks which took place in the area of Porvenir de Magallanes and Laguna Verde de Valparaíso. The attacks have gotten the attention of local authorities and they are working to assist the victims.

One attack involved José David Muñoz Vargas (52), and one of his sex partners on January 1st. The incident was reported by his niece. The two were at the home of Muñoz Vargas and began being mocked and ridiculed for being gay by some guests in the home. A pot of hot water was thrown at them, but they escaped the attack. Muñoz Vargas was then locked in a bathroom and dunked in a tub with extremely hot water. He suffered bad burns on 22% of his body including his back, glutes, and one of his arms.

Rolando Jiménez, director of Movilh shared:

We are in contact with the relatives who tell us that this was a homophobic attack. We will continue to provide guidance and help in everything they wish in the face of this horrible and despicable fact. Here we must thoroughly investigate this abuse and apply the aggravation of the Zamudio Law against abusers

The Zamudio Law is a piece of legislation that was put in place to protect the LGBTQ community from violent crimes and discrimination. After the horrific murder of Daniel Zamudio in 2012, Chile saw a widespread outrage. Zamudio was attacked in a park in 2012 by four men who all received prison sentences. Zamudio was died after being hospitalized for 25 days according to Gay Star News.

On the same day as the Muñoz Vargas attack, in Valparaíso, a 24-year-old man was attacked in a suspected hate crime. The victim had been traveling in a car with his attackers when around 8pm they became violent and started insulting him for being gay. They drove the man to Laguna Verde where they began to beat and torture him reports Movilh.

Here they stomped on his genitals, burnt cigarettes on his hands, and hit him on the head with a rock. He blacked out soon after and woke up the next day disoriented and lost.

Diego Ríos, a representative for Movilh-Valparaíso expressed:

It is a sad situation that causes a lot of impotence. We call on local authorities to help victims of this type of abuse, to sensitize people about the LGBTI reality and to educate LGBTI youth about their rights and about the dangers they face, in order to prevent further abuses.

Both cases are still under investigation and Movilh is working to bring the attackers to justice.

h/t: Movilh, Gay Star News







Chile's Pedophilia Scandal Has Led To The Pope Accepting Three Bishops's Resignations

Pope Francis has a lot on his hands as he has to deal with the after effects of a large Chilean sex scandal (and his direct fault in it).

In 2011, Rev. Fernando Karadima, a preacher who was close with Chile’s Catholic elite, was sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer after engaging in multiple sex crimes. This would become the start of a decade of investigation into the cover-ups of sexual abuse all throughout the country of Chile.

As ABCNews reports, the most recent event involved Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, whom many didn’t want in the position of leadership to begin with.

A recent Vatican statement announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of Bishop Barros as well as Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso and Bishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt. Francis then named a temporary leader for each diocese.

It was Pope Francis himself who appointed Barros in his position in Chile just three years ago in 2015. When that happened, the decision was met with intense pushback. This is because Barros was already known for ignoring the sexual abuses caused by his colleagues and superiors.

While Barros denies those charges to this day, Pope Francis admits his mistake after he read a 2,300-page report compiled by Vatican investigators Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu. The report explained the depth of Chile's scandal.

Pope Francis also came to this conclusion after speaking to Juan Carlos Cruz.

We shared with you last month that Cruz, who was a victim to sexual abuses by Catholic officials, admitted to having a one-on-one conversation with the Pope.

Cruz shared that the Pope not only apologized to him but allegedly said, “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Those two conversations led to Pope Francis summoning Chile’s Church leaders to the Vatican last month to finally address the issues. That meeting resulted in the resignation of 30 active bishops, including Barros.

After hearing of Barros’s resignation, Juan Carlos Cruz tweeted out the following:

"A new day has begun in Chile's Catholic Church"

“I'm thrilled for all those who have fought to see this day," he added. "The band of criminal bishops ... begins to disintegrate today."

While 30 Bishops offered their resignations, Pope Francis has only recently accepted three of them. Barros’s resignation was joined by the other two bishops mentioned earlier who say they only wanted to retire. That said, victims of the sexual abuse cover-ups say the Bishops were also involved in it all.

It seems that Pope Francis has his work cut out for him.