Coahuila became Mexico’s third state to ban bullfighting after Congress voted 16-5 yesterday in favor of the measure.
The initiative was brought forward by the Ecologist Green Party but had the support of the state’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) government. Legislators heard from supportive youths, animal rights groups and others who turned up yesterday for a discussion of the legislation.
On the other side of the issue were the National Action Party (PAN) members of Congress, who accused Gov. Rubén Moreira Valdez of being out of touch with the people and looking for revenge against a local cattle rancher.
Armando Guadiana Tijerina said a month ago he was considering running for governor as an independent candidate.
The PAN’s Jesús de León Tello also said the ban was illogical, asking how one could be opposed to human life by supporting abortion while at the same time defending the lives of the bulls.
He suggested the public debt and other issues ought to be discussed, but was shouted down by his opponents calling out “Coahuila demands it, no more bullfights.”
News of the pending legislation brought ranchers, bullfighters and other protesters to the state capital on Wednesday, where they attempted to persuade legislators of the cultural and traditional value of bullfighting, suggesting it should be considered a national heritage.
The ban was also characterized as an attack on personal liberties by urban residents who have different perceptions from those who live in rural areas.
Bullfighting supporters also warned there would be an economic cost to a ban, but no figures were reported.
Lawmakers were told yesterday that a survey had revealed nine out of 10 young people are opposed to bullfighting. At least 250 were on hand yesterday to voice their support for the new law.
PRI Deputy Melchor Sánchez de la Fuente said it could no longer be argued that bullfights should continue in order to preserve a cultural expression, particularly as they are no longer viewed with favor by the majority.
Bans are already in place in Sonora, which in 2013 became the first state to implement one, and Guerrero.