Bullfighting returning to Mexico City



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Bull riding to return to Plaza del Mexico Image: La Plaza Mexico (Facebook)

Bullfighting is set to return to Mexico City after Mexico’s Supreme Court last month overturned a 2022 ban on the sport taking place in the country’s capital.

Bullfighting will resume on January 28, according to the director of the Plaza Mexico bullring.

AP said a panel of five justices voted to overturn a May 2022 injunction that said bullfights violated city resident’s rights to a healthy environment free from violence.

The justices did not explain their arguments for overturning the ban, but bullfight organizers claimed it violated their right to continue the tradition. The capital had a history of almost 500 years of bullfighting, but there have been no fights since the 2022 injunction.

WFMZ News said the capital city, that is home to what is billed as the world’s largest bullfighting ring, now plans to host “fiesta brava” events once more.

Mexico City’s massive bullfighting ring, Plaza Mexico, is considered the cathedral of Mexican bullfighting and is one of the three main bullrings in the world along with Las Ventas in Madrid and La Maestranza in Spain’s city of Seville.

Plaza de Toris in Mexico City is the world’s largest bullfighting ring and can seat up to 40,000 people.

The ban on bullfighting was brought in after a legal complaint brought by the organization Justicia Justa, which alleged that bullfights created an unhealthy environment by subjecting Mexico City residents to violence and animal cruelty.

Globally, around 180,000 bulls are killed in bullfights every year, and even more are killed or injured in connected events like bull parties, according to Humane Society International.

Justicia Justa’s push to end the controversial sport in Mexico is part of a global movement. While such fights are held in most of the country, they remain blocked by judicial measures in the states of Sinaloa, Guerrero, Coahuila and Quintana Roo, as well as in the western city of Guadalajara.

Four members of a Supreme Court panel ruled unanimously in the Dec. 6 ruling, which said the organization that brought the case didn’t prove that the fights caused “imminent and irreparable damage.”

WFMZ News further stated that bullfighting generates 80,000 direct jobs, and 146,000 indirect jobs across the country, according to figures of the National Association of Breeders of Fighting Bulls in Mexico. Overall, the industry generates approximately $400 million a year.

Jorge Gaviño, a member of the Mexico City Congress who has unsuccessfully pushed three local measures against bullfighting, said he considered the lifting of the court ban a blow for animal rights but said he was working with other groups to present new appeals to stop the practice.

Gaviño said, “It’s very complicated, but it doesn’t discourage us because sooner or later we’re going to achieve the thing we set out to do. This is irreversible.”

He said that “bullfighting festivals have fewer and fewer followers” because humans have learned to recognize the pain of other sentient creatures.

However, the bullfighting ban was criticised by fans like Daniel Salinas, a 63-year-old writer whose work has documented the more than 70 years of history in Plaza Mexico.

He said, “That they took away your right to come, well, the truth is that you feel your freedom has been curtailed.”

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