Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No More Olé in Bogotá?

What would Pepe think? One of Colombia's most famous bullfighters, he died from a goring at age 53.
The folks at the Santamaria Plaza, Bogotá's bullfighting stadium, tell me that the city's ordered them to
The stadium's moorish fachade.

stop selling tickets for next season of corridas. A long, but cruel and controversial, tradition may be at an end here. Mayor Gustavo Petro said months ago that the city should consider banning all public spectacles which involve the killing of animals.

Bogotá's Planetarium seen thru one of the plaza's windows.
If bullfighting's banned, a long tradition will end with it. And will the city try to also prohibit cockfighting, which is easier to hide and popular among the poorer people? How about paying attention to the conditions in which farm animals are raised and slaughtered?

And what will happen to the handsome and historic bullfighting plaza, with its Moorish architecture? Even now, the plaza sits empty, except for young bullfighters training for a future which may never come, for nine or ten months of the year.

The handsome building, located in the heart of the city, would be great for lots of uses - but hopefully not fast food restaurants.

An end to bullfighting in La Santamaria would also be a heavy blow to the already-beleagured sport. It is the most important bullfighting stadium in South America, and Colombia is the third most important bullfighting nation, after Spain and Mexico.

A statue of Colombian bullfighting legend Cesar Rincon. Still alive, he now raises bullfighting bulls. 

The Torres del Parque behind the bullfighting stadium. 

Ignacio Sanz de Santamaria, a cattleman who donated the land and financed the stadium's construction - going bankrupt in the process.  

A plaque in the stadium honors artist Fernando Botero, a bullfighting fan. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours, which usually visits the bullfighting stadium during bicycle tours. 

1 comment:

mauricio forero l said...

Just about time, this is among the most backward and cruel of the so call "traditions" that we got from the Spaniards. This beautiful building can be used for concerts or another kind of entertainment that is not base on cruelty.

Mauricio Forero.