Colombia’s Constitutional Court is reviewing a complaint by human rights activists, who claim that the practice of bull fighting is unconstitutional and call for it to be outlawed throughout the country.
Animal rights activists filed a petition against a Colombian law which decrees bullfighting “as an artistic expression of the human being” and advocates the creation of “bullfighting schools for training new professionals, supporting bullfighting and promoting it as a sport.”
The court rejected an earlier complaint ruling that bullfighting “corresponds to a living manifestation of spiritual and historical tradition of Latin American countries” and cited references to the sport in the works of Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Botero and Goya among others in order to highlight “artistic and cultural expression.”
On their return to court the plaintiffs expanded their appeal to include cockfighting, rodeo and coleo (a traditional Colombian sport similar to rodeo.)
Bullfighting is a thriving industry within Colombia, with at least 86 permanent bullrings in operation, the largest of which are Bogota, Cali and Manizales. The country also has over 30 breeding farms and eight specialist bullfighting schools.
National sentiments towards the practices remain strong. A few months a go, residents from a village on Colombia’s Atlantic coast destroyed the town hall and the mayor’s home after he temporarily prohibited the sport following the death of a local during a fight.