Santiago - Four men seen as neo-Nazi sympathisers were found guilty on Thursday
of torturing and beating to death a gay youth in Chile last year.
Judge Juan Carlos Urrutia said the four acted with "extreme
cruelty" in the killing of 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio, and had "total
disrespect for human life".
Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and
Fabian Mora Mora all face prison terms ranging from eight years to life behind
Their murder sentences will be announced on 28 October.
The homophobic crime shocked conservative, Catholic Chile and led to passage
of the country's first anti-discrimination law targeting hate crimes amid a
gradually receding taboo on homosexuality.
Zamudio was assaulted and beaten on 3 March 2012, during an incident
involving violent strikes, lacerations and cigarette burns that last more than
He died of his injuries 25 days later and his four aggressors - aged 19 to
25 at the time - were arrested.
At the time, the group was said to sympathise with neo-Nazi ideology, but
prosecutors were unable to confirm their affiliation, even though they had painted
iron crosses on the victim's corpse.
The measure dubbed the "Zamudio law" condemns discrimination based
on gender, race and religion, among other factors.
It was first presented to parliament in 2005 but not approved until May
2012, after the initiative was stalled by conservative legislators.
It introduces the concept of "arbitrary discrimination" into the
Chilean legal system and punishes violators with fines ranging from $400 to $4 000.