Bullfighters Cesar Rincon, El Juli and others on stage today in front of the Santamaria Plaza.
Bullfighters Cesar Rincon, El Juli and others on stage today in front of the Santamaria Plaza.

COLOMBIA NEWS – Will Bogotá see bullfighting again?

A group of active and retired bullfighters, including Colombia’s Cesar Rincon and the Spaniard Julián López Escobar, known as ‘El Juli,’ led a rally today outside the Santamaria bullfighting stadium demanding that the historic plaza be reopened to bullfights.

Bogota's bullfighting plaza
Bogota’s bullfighting plaza

Mayor Gustavo Petro has not allowed bullfighting in the plaza for the past two years.

A group of young bullfighters, called novilleros, have been staging a sit-in for the last 100 days in front of the plaza. Meanwhile, bullfighting supporters have also been battling the mayor in court, and achieved a victory several months ago, when a court ruled that the mayor didn’t have the authority to prohibit bullfighting. The mayor has appealed that ruling.

The Petro administration has not only banned bullfighting, but recently also prohibited tourist visits to the stadium, because of scheduled renovation work – even tho no work is actually going on. Upon becoming mayor, Petro said he’d convert the Plaza de Toros into a Plaza de Todos – a ‘Place for Everybody.’ Instead, it’s become a Place for Nobody.

Bullfighting supporters play a board game.
Bullfighting supporters play a board game.

In related news, the novilleros carrying out the sit-in say that a ghost appeared in a photo they took of themselves in a bullfighting stadium passageway.

Strangely, no anti-bullfighting protesters appeared today.

Article and photos by Mike’s Bogota Blog