Gustavo Petro, the mayor of Bogota, Columbia, has said that wants to close the bullfighting arena in the capital and transform it into an arts centre. Petro, speaking to US broadcaster NTD Television, emphasised that the arena is a public place that should be used for cultural events and not to show events involving death.
Petro also confirmed that there would be no funding for any bullfighting events and that neither he nor his staff would use the seating box dedictaed to city offficials in the bull ring, Plaza de Toros de Santamaria.
Columbia has some 86 bull rings and undoubtedly it would be a major step towards a national ban should Bogota transform its ring and even take steps towards abolishing it in the city.
Reactions from outside the bull ring
Tensions are running high at bullfights in the Columbian capital. The two men interviewed by NTD seem to represent the mood on both sides. While one protester at the bullring explained that he smeared blood on his face in order to show the suffering of the animals, an elderly aficionado said that he didn’t like soccer, but he wouldn’t go to the stadium and “insult” people who want to watch it.