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¡Ole! Colombian House of Representatives passes bill outlawing bullfighting

The Colombian House of Representatives approved by a large majority a bill that prohibits bullfighting in the country

Foto de archivo del torero peruano Roca Rey durante una corrida en la Feria de Manizales (Colombia).
Foto de archivo del torero peruano Roca Rey durante una corrida en la Feria de Manizales (Colombia). | EFE/ Jhon Jairo Bonilla

May 29, 2024 3:42pm

Updated: May 30, 2024 11:16am

The Colombian House of Representatives approved a bill on Tuesday that bans bullfighting, an initiative that achieved 93 favorable votes after 14 postponements, according to the EFE Spanish language news agency.

“The bill that prohibits bullfighting in Colombia has just been approved in the last debate in the plenary session of the House, with 93 votes for yes and two votes for no,” the organization wrote in its X account for share the news.

Because the texts approved in the Senate and the House are different,  the law will go through a conciliation process. If approved, it will then go to President Gustavo Petro for approval. 

“No more bullfighting, no more bullfighting, no more bullfighting,” shouted several of the congressional representatives who promoted the bill during the legislative session. 

Those voices of joy were joined by that of Sen. Esmeralda Hernández, of the ruling Historical Pact and speaker of the bill in the Senate, where it has already been approved, as seen in the videos circulating on digital platforms.

“It is the law of the republic! We achieved it, the bullfights are over in my Colombia. It is one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you from the heart, thanks to those who paved the way for us, thanks to Congress, thanks to life,” the politician said on her social networks.

Hernández explained that the law “establishes a three-year transition process,” since "the ban is not going to be from one day to the next."

The senator added that "the families that live in the bullfighting sector will be identified and based on this, it is planned to establish an inter-institutional committee to make the transition," so that they can decide if they want to dedicate themselves “to commerce or tourism.”

The process of transforming the bullrings is also established so that they can be used as spaces for cultural, musical and related use.

Bullfighting and bullfighting have been a controversial topic on the country's political and legislative agenda in recent years, with several attempts, so far unsuccessful, to promote a law in Congress that prohibits this type of celebration.

Bullfighting, traditionally popular in Colombia, is gradually losing followers. 

The central bullfighting arenas are located in La SantamaríaBogotáCañaveralejo, Cali and in the Plaza de Toros de Manizales, a city that has the highest number of bullfighting fans in the country.

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