MEXICO CITY — This season’s bullfights in Mexico City may be the last, as legislators in the city assembly seek to revive a bill banning the activity.
This year’s season closed Sunday at the city’s Plaza Mexico arena, and it was marked — as has become routine — by protesters.
Last year, the assembly’s Animal Welfare Commission gave preliminary approval to a law banning public events “at which animals are subject to mistreatment and cruelty that result in their death.” But the bill never made it to a vote before the full assembly.
Animal rights activist Alberto Luvianos says legislators may have been cowed by the potential lost income.
“They (legislators) recognized that animals have rights, but the issue they are worried about is the income from bullfighting,” said Luvianos, who estimated the fights create about 3,000 jobs.
The bullfighting associations claim the real number is ten times that amount.
Evangelina Estudillo is one of them. She has worked as street vendor outside the area for 20 years, and the income helped her raise nine children. The prospect of a ban makes her uneasy.
“The president would have to do something,” Estudillo said. “Look how many families rely on this.”
Since 2013, four states in Mexico have already banned bull fights, and polls indicate substantial support for a ban. A ban in Mexico City — currently the largest venue for the events — would be an international setback for bullfighting.
“I respect those who are against it, but I don’t agree, said Paco Dominguez, who sells bullfighting merchandise and posters. “I see it as an art, a part of culture, and I make a living off of it.”