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Colombia Bans Bullfighting as Congress Passes Landmark Legislatiob




(CTN News) – Colombia’s Congress has approved legislation to prohibit bullfighting. The bill was passed with a 93-2 vote on Tuesday, marking the culmination of years of advocacy by activists aiming to end the controversial blood sport, deeply rooted in the country’s colonial history.

The ban will be phased in over a three-year period. During this time, the state will assist in finding alternative employment for the tens of thousands of people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the bullfighting sector.

Reporting from Bogota, Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti noted that the bill was approved after “years of strenuous political battles.” He observed that bullfighting, once a popular tradition introduced by Spanish colonizers, had been “losing fans in recent years” and was now mainly enjoyed by “a small elite.”

Juan Carlos Losada, a lawmaker from the Liberal Party, told Al Jazeera that the ban would prompt the country to reconsider the “culture of violence” it had inherited.

He emphasized that future generations would grow up in a country where culture would be defined “much more creatively than torturing animals for the amusement of a few insensitive people.”

In contrast, proponents of bullfighting expressed their opposition to the ban, describing it as an infringement on the freedoms of minorities and highlighting the impact on cities that attract thousands of visitors to bullfighting events.

Matador Johan Andres Paloma lamented the ban, saying that bullfighting was “a symbol of identity” for many Colombians.

Evolution of Attitudes Towards Bullfighting in Colombia

Bullfighting in Colombia, once a widely broadcast and popular event, has faced increasing criticism due to evolving attitudes towards animal welfare. Many now find it unacceptable to witness animals suffering for entertainment.

Recognition and Regulation

  • In 2018, Colombia’s Constitutional Court recognized bullfighting as part of the country’s cultural tradition.
  • Despite this recognition, the capital city of Bogota has banned the injuring or killing of bulls, and Medellin has also imposed restrictions on the practice.

Regional Popularity

  • Bullfighting remains popular in cities like Cali and Manizales, with around 300 events held annually at about 70 locations across Colombia.
  • The tradition originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is still legal in seven other countries: Ecuador, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and Venezuela.

Global Perspective

  • In contrast, several countries in the region, including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Guatemala, have banned the blood sport due to concerns about animal cruelty.
  • The ongoing debate over bullfighting in Colombia mirrors broader global discussions about the ethics of using animals for entertainment purposes.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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