Court decrees return of bullfights in Bogota

Wednesday, February 11st 2015

Bullring La Santamaría © CAS International Representatives of several organizations against bullfighting from over the whole world, standing in the bullring la Santamaría in Bogota © CAS International

The Constitutional Court has determined that bullfights should be held again in the Colombian capital of Bogota. In September 2014 already, the Court stated that bullfights should be resumed in Bogota. Following this came a request for annulment of that decision by Mayor Gustavo Petro. Since 2012 Petro fights for the end of bullfighting in the Colombian capital wanting the bullring La Santamaria to be used as a space for cultural and educational events without suffering. CAS International sent a letter to the mayor of Bogota in 2012, signed by a long list of anti-bullfighting organizations, with a request to ban bullfighting in Bogota.

The Constitutional Court is now proposing that neither mayors nor the local government can ban bullfighting. Bullfighting must now return within six months in Bogota. According to the court bullfighting is an artistic and cultural expression to be respected by the mayors of the country. However, it is not clear whether the bullfights will actually be resumed within six months because the bullring La Santamaria must first undergo structural renovation.

Petro does not believe in a fundamental right to kill. According to him, it is barbaric to enjoy the death of a living being. Petro emphasizes the need for a new relationship with nature based on respect. He also argued that the message of the Constitutional Court is a bad message for the Colombian society in which violence against animals and people is the order of the day. The end of bullfighting in Bogota would be an important lesson in peace: there is no right to kill.

Meanwhile, our Colombian colleagues have launched a campaign called #ConsultaAntitaurina, aiming to hold a consultative referendum on banning bullfighting. The majority of the Colombian population is against bullfighting. CAS International supports this campaign and we have participated in social media in its first actions. Check our website regularly to follow the latest developments in Colombia.

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