The bullfighters, who have been on a hunger strike since August 5, claim 35,000 jobs have been affected due to the ban on bullfighting in Bogota. Furthermore, they claim that the capital has missed out on close to $1.6 million in revenue that would have been generated during the bullfighting season, according to Colombia’s Vanguardia newspaper.
“We don’t want food. We’re hungry for bull!!!” announced the bullfighters’ protest banner outside Bogota’s Santamaria Bullfighting Ring.
However, the photo captured of the protesting bullfighters clearly shows that although they may be on a hunger strike, they don’t appear to be on a thirst strike as they are portrayed holding what appears to be beverages.
Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro effectively banned bullfighting in Colombia’s capital in 2012 when he declared that no public money would be spent on this controversial tradition.
However, a Constitutional Court ruling in October 2012, decreed that mayors were not allowed to ban bullfights in Colombian cities.
Despite the ruling, Mayor Petro has refused to grant a single peso to be spent on bullfighting in Bogota.
While supported by animal rights activists, Petro’s anti-bullfighting stance was rejected by bullfighters and bullfight organizers who consider the spectacle part of Colombia’s cultural heritage.