Daniel Zamudio
Daniel Zamudio, 24, was tortured to death in Santiago, Chile (Facebook)

A Chilean court has convicted four men who tortured a young gay man, carved swastikas into his body then beat him to death in a Santiago Park.

Santiago Judge Juan Carlos Urrutia said Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora were guilty of a crime of "extreme cruelty" and "total disrespect for human life".

The four, who were allegedly linked to a neo-Nazi gang, attacked homosexual Daniel Zamudio, 24, in Santiago in March 2012.

They burned him with cigarettes, cut him with broken bottles and glasses, broke his leg with a heavy stone and slashed off part of his ear, before carving Nazi symbols on his stomach.

Zamudio's ordeal lasted several hours. The clothing store salesman, who had hoped to study theatre, died in hospital three weeks later.

His death sparked a national debate about hate crimes that led the Chilean Congress to approve an anti-discrimination law.

Zamudio's mother sobbed as the judge read out the guilty verdict in court.

"Nothing can change the tremendous pain suffered by Daniel's parents," presidential spokeswoman Cecilia Perez said. "But there's no doubt that today some tranquillity has finally reached their hearts. It's the tranquillity that comes with justice."

The length of the attackers' incarceration will be decided at a sentencing hearing later this month.

Prosecutors asked for jail terms ranging from eight years to life in prison.

"We're satisfied with this ruling. There's a before and an after the Zamudio case," said Rolando Jimenez, president of the Gay Liberation and Integration Movement.

"It generated such outrage because of the brutality, the hate, that it helped raised awareness," Jimenez said. "We've witnessed a cultural change that finally led to an anti-discrimination law."

Chile Gay murder
Patricio Ahumada Garay, Alejandro Angulo Tapia, Raul Lopez Fuentes and Fabian Mora Mora were guilty of a crime of \"extreme cruelty\" and \"total disrespect for human life\" a Chilean judge said.