Luis Larraín, a prominent LGBTQ rights activist in Chile, died on Saturday after a battle with blood cancer. He was 42. Larraín, along with writer Pablo Simonetti, in 2013 co-founded Fundación Iguales.
Larraín was the group’s president until he stepped down in 2017 to run for the Chilean Congress. Larraín in January announced doctors had diagnosed him with an “aggressive” form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
His family on Friday released a video in which Larraín said he had not responded to the third treatment he had undergone. “They gave me the first three doses and they unfortunately did not show any results,” he said. “Given that there are no more treatments available and thinking about my quality of life, talking a lot with my family and friends, I have decided to be sedated to spend this last moment in peace, without feeling the effects of cancer destroying my body.” “I wanted to say goodbye to everyone, thank you for being aware of what was happening to me,” added Larraín. “I hope that you continue with your fight, whether in health, in sexual diversity or in any field.” “Luis’s legacy will endure in this country’s history today and always,” tweeted Fundación Iguales. “Rest in peace.” Chilean politicians and activists in the country and elsewhere in Latin America also mourned Larraín.
The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, another Chilean advocacy group, in a statement said Larraín’s “contribution to nondiscrimination and to the causes of sexual and gender diversity shine like a star.” President Gabriel Boric retweeted a statement from Camila Vallejo, his government’s general secretary minister, in which she said she met Larraín in Congress when he was urging lawmakers to support LGBTQ rights “in this conservative country where he grew up.” “I remember your bravery in those days,” said Vallejo. “I mourn your passing and I extend my deepest condolences to your loved ones and those with whom you were close.