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Latino Daily News

Monday February 6, 2012

Protesters Call for End to Bullfighting in Mexico City

Protesters Call for End to Bullfighting in Mexico City

Photo: Bull Fighting Protest in Mexico

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About 1,000 animal rights activists staged a protest over the weekend in Mexico City to demand an end to bullfighting, a deep-rooted tradition in Mexico.

The majority of the people who took part in Sunday’s protest showed up at a plaza on the Paseo de la Reforma partially clothed and with simulated blood smeared on their bodies.

The animal rights activists spent about an hour lying on the ground completely silent to simulate the slaughter of bulls, while other protesters chanted slogans against bullfighting.

Animal rights activists are trying to convince lawmakers in Mexico City to ban bullfights, AnimaNaturalis president Leonora Esquivel told reporters.

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.

The capital should become the “vanguard city” in doing away with bullfights in Mexico, following the example of the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia, Esquivel said.

Most Mexicans oppose bullfighting, according to Esquivel, who did not provide any statistics to support her statement.

Dozens of people out for a Sunday stroll in the capital stopped by to take a look at the protesters and listen to their message.

About 9,000 bulls are slaughtered every year at rings in Mexico, where bullfighting dates back to the 16th century, AnimaNaturalis says.

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