1993 / Actions by gay and lesbian associations in response to the fire at Divine Discotheque

Divine Discotheque was an old adobe mansion from 1910, located on Chacabuco Street, between Uruguay and Maitenes, in Valparaíso, and owned by known proprietors in the region, the Logomarsino family. The disco was known for its travesti and variety shows, which were an important source of work for the gay men and travestis who performed there. Around 3:30 AM on September 4, 1993, a fire broke out, killing 18 people. According the the Valparaíso firemen, the source of the fire was electric, caused by conductors overheating. However, the testimony of survivors suggest that the lights and music remained on even as people tried to escape. As a result, many gay and lesbian groups across the country (CEPSS in Valparaíso; MOVILH-Histórico, Ayuqueln, and the Yeguas del Apocalipsis in Santiago; LEA and Jugongay in Concepción; Liber-H in Paine and the gay association in Calama) joined forced to demand that the government investigate the case, as the conflicting accounts suggested that the cause of the fire may have been arson, motivated by homophobia.