(Mexico City) Bullfighting resumed Sunday in Mexico City, the world's largest arena, after a more than year-long ban was finally overturned by the Supreme Court, much to the anger of anti-bullfighters who came forward.
Posted at 10:18 am.
Tens of thousands of “lovers” occupied the “Plaza” (which can accommodate up to 41,000 seats) for the first bullfight of the season, featuring Mexican bullfighter Joselito Adame, who was injured in the left leg by a horn blast in April.
“Freedom. Cops, living culture,” we read in the middle of the arena, where Joselito Adame and Diego Silveri took the first shots under the traditional white handkerchiefs.
Joselito Adame, in a written message, thanked “the entire Mexican public, represented by everyone present in the bullring of Mexico City this afternoon, an unsurpassed audience that keeps bullfighting alive, patiently waiting for its return, loving, critical and passionate.”
“I'm very moved, I've been waiting for this for a long time,” one spectator, Alejandra Diaz, a 49-year-old educator who stressed “the importance of bullfighting culture,” told AFP.
The protesters “show a respectable attitude, but we also ask them to respect our aficion (passion),” said Juan Luis Morales, a 52-year-old teacher.
The arenas were protected by a police cordon to block the march of anti-bullfighters who marched under the slogan “Torture is neither art nor culture.”
“It's important to be here because they will resume their barbarism, their cruelty, their massacre, that can't happen and we have to send them a pretty clear message,” said one protester, Gabriela Martinez, 62 years old, told AFP tears in her eyes.
Bullfights were banned in June 2022 after a judge in Mexico City ruled on a complaint from animal rights group Justicia Justa.
On December 6, 2023, the Supreme Court overturned this decision without ruling on the merits of the appeal. Bullfighting opponents are betting everything on a final decision in the coming weeks.
Bullfights were imported by the Spanish “conquistadors” in the 16th century.
The industry generated sales of $414 million in 2018 and created 83,000 direct jobs, argue the “Aficionados”.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed a referendum in the capital on the future of bullfighting. Four of Mexico's 32 states ban them.