Bullfighting returns to Teocelo

Wednesday, January 21st 2015

Vaquillada Teocelo 'Vaquillada' in Teocelo © Cuartoscuro/Archivo

In July 2012, the Mexican municipality of Teocelo became the first municipality in Mexico that declared itself against bullfighting. This statement also implied that no feasts with bulls and/or cows would be organized. Unfortunately, the rules that forbade these events have now been canceled.

By a referendum the people of Teocelo were asked whether they wanted events with bulls and cows to return. Ultimately, 1,518 people voted in favor of a re-entry, 277 people against it. However, there is controversy surrounding the way the referendum was held. The inhabitants of Teocelo were called to vote only four days before the referendum. Furthermore, the municipality hardly spread the announcement for the referendum. Critics argue that there has not been a valid democratic process. They also argue that the result of the referendum cannot be valid when less than 10% of the population participated.

Although Teocelo declared itself against bullfighting and related events, ‘vaquilladas’ never stopped of being organized. ‘Vaquilladas’ are feasts where cows and young bulls are released through the streets to entertain people. In 2014 a man in Teocelo died after he collided with a bull.
Teocelo symbolizes the struggle we are waging against the bullfighting sector. Though it was democratically decided to declare Teocelo anti-bullfighting municipality. However, there has been pressure from the bullfighting lobby to continue organizing the 'vaquilladas'. We celebrate many successes, yet the situation in Teocelo shows that sometimes two steps in the right direction are followed by one step backwards.

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