Photo: 5,000 Protest Urging Mexico City to Ban Bullfighting
Thousands of people took part in a demonstration over the weekend to urge Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly to ban bullfighting, joining people in 26 other cities across the country who took part in protests to promote the same cause.
About 5,000 people turned out for the three-hour protest Sunday in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest plaza, Leonora Esquivel, a spokeswoman for event organizer Sin Violencia, told Efe.
Demonstrators were treated to musical performances and listened to speeches calling on the Legislative Assembly to ban bullfighting.
The Legislative Assembly must decide by April 30 whether or not to prohibit bullfighting in Mexico City.
A Federal District Legislative Assembly committee approved a bill last month to ban bullfighting in the capital.
The bill must be debated and put to a vote by the full assembly before the current legislative session ends on April 30.
Members of Sin Violencia, an umbrella organization for more than 200 grassroots groups, contend that the majority of Mexicans oppose bullfighting.
“Banning bullfighting is directly linked to building a nation that is less violent and more responsible,” Sin Violencia said in a statement.
The Federal District “has a historic opportunity to become the first Mexican entity to show it is changing,” Sin Violencia said.
Mexico City is home to the Plaza Monumental, which can seat 40,000 people and is considered the world’s largest bullfighting ring.
The Plaza Monumental opened on Feb. 5, 1946, with a card that featured bullfighters Luis “El Soldado” Castro, Manuel “Manolete” Rodriguez and Luis Procuna.
About 9,000 bulls are slaughtered every year at rings in Mexico, where bullfighting dates back to the 16th century, animal rights groups say.
Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are the Latin American countries where bullfighting is most deeply rooted.
Chile, however, banned bullfighting shortly after it gained its independence from Spain in 1818, but rodeos, another target of animal rights activists, are popular in the South American country.