Mexico City legislature could ban bullfighting

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Arturo Macias plunges his sword into a bull during a bullfight at the Plaza de toros México bullring in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. This season’s bullfights in Mexico City could be the last, as lawmakers in the municipal assembly seek to revive a bill banning the activity. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — This season’s bullfights in Mexico City could be the last, as lawmakers in the city’s assembly seek to revive a bill banning the activity.

This year’s season ended at the city’s Plaza Mexico arena on Sunday, and it was marred — as has become routine — by protesters.

Last year, the Assembly’s Animal Welfare Committee gave preliminary approval to a law banning public events “at which animals are subjected to mistreatment and cruelty resulting in their death”. But the bill was never put to a vote before the plenary assembly.

Animal rights activist Alberto Luvianos says lawmakers may have been intimidated by the potential loss of revenue.

“They (lawmakers) have recognized that animals have rights, but the issue they’re worried about is bullfighting revenue,” said Luvianos, who estimated that the fighting creates about 3,000 jobs.

Bullfighting associations claim that the actual number is ten times higher.

Evangelina Estudillo is one of them. She worked as a street vendor outside the region for 20 years and the earnings helped her raise nine children. The prospect of a ban makes her uneasy.

“The president should do something,” Estudillo said. “Look how many families depend on it.”

Since 2013, four states in Mexico have already banned bullfighting and polls indicate substantial support for a ban. A ban in Mexico City – currently the biggest venue for events – would be an international setback for bullfighting.

“I respect those who are against it, but I disagree, said Paco Dominguez, who sells bullfighting products and posters. “I see it as art, part of culture, and I make a living.”

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