|A statue of Cesar Rincon, Colombia's greatest bullfighter of recent times. Behind him is a bust of Ignacio Sanz de Santamaria, who donated the land to build Bogotá's bullfighting arena, which is named after him.|
|A plaque in the Santamaria Plaza |
honoring Manolete, a legendary
Spanish bullfighter who
Whether you love bullfighting for its drama, grace and courage, or hate it for its cruelty and celebration of violence and killing, the sport has played an important role in Latin history. Colombia is the planet's third-largest bullfighting country, altho that may change if the sport is definitively banned in Bogotá and the city of Medellin cuts off municipal support. (On the other hand, Cartagena plans to begin organizing bullfights.)
And bullfighting's history is not just about valor and violence - it also touches on politics, international relations, and even feminism.
Undoubtedly, Colombia's most famous bullfighter of recent times is Cesar Rincon, born in 1965. He is still alive but retired and raises bulls and has become a prominent defender of bullfighting. While fighting in 1990, Rincon was gored and contracted hepatitis C from the blood transfusion. He nevertheless continued bullfighting until 2008.
|Alvaro Munera, Colombian bullfighter turned animal rights activist following a severe goring.|
|Pepe Caceres and a bull, tho probably |
not the one which killed him.
|Bertha Trujillo, La Morenita |
de Quindio, who died last year.
|Juanita Cruz receiving ovations. |
You'd never catch Pepe Caceres in a skirt!
"They needed a civil war to defeat me," Cruz commented.
|Just a hobby? Young aspiring bullfighters practicing their moves the other day in the Plaza de Toros Santamaria.|
|A bullfighting protester outside the plaza. They are planning an anti-bullfighting march for June 25th.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours