Friday, December 1, 2023

Judge orders temporary suspension of bullfights at Mexico City bullring

A federal judge on Friday ordered a provisional suspension of bullfights at Mexico City’s Plaza México, the world’s largest bullring.

Administrative court judge Jonathan Bass Herrera made the ruling in response to a lawsuit filed by Justicia Justa (Fair Justice), a civil society organization. A ruling on a definitive suspension will be handed down next Thursday.

Justicia Justa argued that the staging of bullfights violates a law designed to ensure that women can live their lives free of violence. It also also contended that two laws that allow bullfighting in the capital are unconstitutional because they allow bulls to be treated in a degrading and stigmatizing way.

While the provisional suspension remains in effect no bullfights can take place at Plaza México and authorities are barred from issuing permits for any future bullfighting events at the cavernous 42,000-seat stadium.

Mexico City authorities and Plaza México itself could challenge the ban on bullfighting at the stadium, which has been hosting bullfights since 1946.

There were five at the venue in April and May, while the next event is scheduled to take place on July 2. Spectator numbers at such events are declining in the capital, the newspaper El País reported.

Other groups have filed lawsuits against bullfighting in Mexico City in recent weeks but no other suspension orders have been granted. The Mexico City Congress has been discussing proposals to outlaw bullfighting for years but majority support has remained elusive.

Bullfighting has already been prohibited in five states: Sonora, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Coahuila and Quintana Roo. In contrast, the states of Aguascalientes, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Nayarit and Guanajuato consider bullfighting intangible cultural heritage.

At a session scheduled for next Wednesday, the Supreme Court is expected to invalidate a 2019 decree that declared bullfighting and cock fights intangible cultural heritage in Nayarit. Such a ruling wouldn’t prohibit the bloodsports but would represent a strong condemnation of them and indicate an unwillingness on the part of the nation’s highest court to overturn any state-based bans.

With reports from Reforma and Aristegui Noticias

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