Any possibility that bullfighting might make a comeback in the northern border state of Coahuila looks increasingly unlikely as a Supreme Court judge is set to recommend Wednesday that the ban currently in place be declared constitutionally sound.
Coahuila became Mexico’s third state to ban the practice after Congress voted in favor of the measure in 2015.
The Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of the Coahuila law because a company that previously staged bullfights in the state — Promociones y Espectáculos Zapaliname — has challenged it, claiming that it violates freedom of work laws as set out in the constitution.
José Fernando Franco González Salas, who has served as a judge of Mexico’s highest court since 2006, is behind the push to give the ruling the backing of the constitution. If his view is endorsed by the other judges of the court’s second chamber, it could pave the way for more bans to be enforced across other states.
An injunction already issued by a federal judge supporting the state law and preventing the return of bullfights would also be upheld.
Franco stated that “there are sufficient reasons to justify its prohibition,” citing the protection and preservation of all animal species and the avoidance of “the transmission of negative values to society through acts that contain violence and animal abuse,” on which the law is based, as examples.
Animal rights groups have long called for bullfights to be banned, arguing that the practice is cruel and demeaning. Injuries to bullfighters are also fairly common.
In Mexico City, where the world’s largest bullring, Plaza México, is located, opposition groups hold protests every Sunday. The Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), which put forward the 2015 initiative in Coahuila, is also fighting for further bans to be imposed.
In 2013, Sonora was the first state to ban bullfighting followed by Guerrero in 2014. Lawmakers in Baja California have also debated outlawing the blood sport but a vote to ban bullfighting last year didn’t receive sufficient support to make it a reality.
Bullfighting has been practiced in Mexico since the early days of Spanish colonial rule and there are hundreds of bullrings across the country. But its popularity has waned considerably with recent polls showing that around three-quarters of the entire population and nine out of 10 young Mexicans believe it should be banned.
Source: Milenio (sp)