SANTIAGO – Complaints about acts of hostility toward LGBT people – ranging from discrimination to violence – in Chile increased by 45 percent in 2017 compared to the prior year, to reach a 15-year high, according to a report by the country’s Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement (MOVILH).
A total of 484 complaints were filed in 2017 – 152 more than in 2016 – according to the 16th edition of MOVILH’S “Sexual and Gender Diversity Human Rights Annual Report.”
MOVILH called 2017 the “year of rage” against LGBT community members and activists due to the sharp increase in instances of abuse.
Movilh also noted that in 2017 “equality opponents pursued unprecedented initiatives to torpedo any kind of legislation of public policy favorable to sexual and gender diversity.”
The report said that among the year’s 484 complaints were two murders, 56 physical or verbal attacks, one instance of police abuse, 38 cases of workplace discrimination and 20 of school exclusion.
Also on the record are 77 anti-LGBT campaigns, 38 institutional exclusions, 11 denials of service, 72 community aggressions, 166 instances of hate speech and three cases of media discrimination.
One of last year’s negative milestones was the arrival in Chile of the so-called “Freedom Bus” sponsored by ultra-Catholic organizations opposing the integration of sexual minorities.
The campaign caused a “chain reaction of hatred,” which was replicated in other regions of the country, motivating anti-LGBT groups to ramp up their discourse and ultra-conservative political currents to embrace its message, the report reads.
On the other hand, MOVILH praised the “accelerated evolution” of the judiciary in terms of defense and promotion of LGBT rights and deemed it the most progressive of the three branches of government, saying that Chilean courts handed down at least 107 rulings in favor of the rights of sexual minorities last year.