Finally, the matador stabs a sword between the bull’s shoulders, killing it. While many bullfighting supporters claim the animal dies within seconds, matadors often miss hitting the right spot, therefore prolonging the animal’s death and suffering.
BOGOTA, Colombia — On March 28, 2023, citizens organized a protest against bullfighting in Colombia. Gustavo Petro, the former mayor of Bogotá and the current president, banned bullfighting between 2012 and 2017 in the emblematic Plaza de Toros la Santamaría. However, at the end of last year, the Colombian Constitutional Court voted to bring back the tradition. Many citizens disagree.
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Since 2022, Bill 328, which seeks the progressive elimination of cruel animal entertainment practices, has been widely debated in the House of Representatives. Many residents want to see the activity banned, specifically because of the harm it causes the bulls. Among the many protesters that gathered at Bolivar Square, outside the country’s Congress, eight wore bull masks, with their bodies covered in fake blood.
By organizing these demonstrations, citizens hoped to raise awareness on the animal cruelty that fuels the tradition and show the importance of Bill 328. It serves as a polite wake-up call to the representatives of Colombia that all living things deserve respect.
From the beginning of colonial rule, bullfights have taken place in Colombia. In recent years, public opinion changed drastically, largely due to ethical concerns. At a bullfight, the matador’s helpers start the battle by intimidating the bull with vivid capes. They then taunt the animal, eventually fighting it. A horseman pokes the bull with a long pike, often drawing blood.
Then, the helpers charge forward and thrust pointed harpoons into the animal’s upper back. Finally, the matador stabs a sword between the bull’s shoulders, killing it. While many bullfighting supporters claim the animal dies within seconds, matadors often miss hitting the right spot, therefore prolonging the animal’s death and suffering.
All photos courtesy of Mariana Delgado Barón.
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