Protests as bullfighting returns to Mexico City

Protests as bullfighting returns to Mexico City
People protest in Mexico CityAFP via Getty Images

Animal rights activists have protested against the return of bullfighting to Mexico City after almost two years.

The city held its first bullfight since 2022 on Sunday.

A judge had ordered the indefinite suspension of the practice – which dates back to the 16th Century in Mexico – agreeing with animal rights activists who had filed a suit.

The Supreme Court revoked the decision last month, but a legal battle between supporters and opponents is likely.

Local media reported that the judges ruled only on technical aspects and have yet to decide on the case’s merits.

“Torture is not art, it is not culture,” demonstrators shouted near the Plaza de México bullring, the largest bullfighting arena in the world.

People waved banners with slogans, including “no more deaths of innocents”. Others wore bull masks and painted themselves in red.

But inside the venue, thousands celebrated its return, with chants of “long live freedom”.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed a referendum on the future of bullfighting in Mexico City.

Spectators watch a bullfight at the Plaza de Mexico in Mexico City, 28 Jan 24

AFP via Getty Images

Around 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights globally each year, according to Humane Society International.

Bullfighting is still legal in many areas of Mexico, which is one of the few countries that still allows the practice.

Other countries include France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.

While also legal in Spain, some cities have outlawed the practice.

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By David Ryckman