Judge Indefinitely Suspends Bullfights in the Largest Plaza in Mexico

    Different civil organizations have promoted legal actions over the years to ban bullfights

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    A federal judge ordered this past Friday the indefinite suspension of bullfights in Plaza México, the largest in the world. “The definitive suspension is granted for the purposes specified in this resolution,” the ruling states. This is about the lawsuit filed by the “Justicia Justa” Civil Association against the regulations that allow bullfighting in Mexico City.

    The sentence can be appealed

    On May 27th, the judge had already provisionally suspended the bullfights while he heard the arguments and evidence of the parties to make a substantive resolution.

    In response, those responsible for Plaza México said that “the celebration of the scheduled bullfights will be postponed. At the same time that “they will continue with the legal defense” of what is called “Mexican customs and traditions.”

    The next activity to be held at the venue, located in the Benito Juárez sector, was scheduled for July 2nd. That day the first “Pamplona” of the capital would take place in the surroundings of the bullring. It is a Spanish tradition in which streets are closed and bulls are released to deal with them. The decision can still be challenged by the organizers of the shows, although the court could take several months to decide on those appeals.

    Numerous legal resources

    Different civil organizations have promoted legal actions over the years to ban bullfights, a 500-year-old tradition in Mexico, although they had not been successful.

    Last December, the capital’s Congress ruled in favor of banning the activity. But a vote in plenary is missing for the measure to become firm. Meanwhile, the Legislature opened a dialogue with those involved.

    Plaza México is the largest in the world, with a capacity of 50,000 spectators, and has traditionally been a meeting place for public figures. Proponents of the ban claim that the law treats bulls as “things” and ignores animal suffering.

    Bullfighting, meanwhile, claim the tradition and economic value of the industry, which in 2018 moved $343 million and created some 80,000 direct jobs and 146,000 indirect jobs, according to the most recent official data available. In Mexico, five of 32 states have banned bullfighting.

    Debate continues

    The debate is latent in Latin America. In Bogotá and Quito, it is forbidden to kill the bull in the ring, while Venezuela has canceled some bullfights. In Peru, the justice system refused to ban them in 2020. The other countries where bullfighting is allowed are Spain, France, and Portugal.

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