Mexico City – Bullfighting is set to make a comeback in Mexico City on January 28, following a legal dispute that led to a more than one-year suspension at the world’s largest bullring, Plaza de Toros. The announcement was made by Plaza de Toros director Mario Zulaica at a press conference on January 11, 2024.
Mexico has a long-standing tradition of bullfights, particularly at the 50,000-capacity Plaza de Toros in the capital. However, in June 2022, a judge ordered an indefinite suspension of the centuries-old practice in Mexico City, siding with animal rights activists who had filed a lawsuit.
Last month, the Supreme Court overturned the suspension, though reports suggest that the judges focused on technical aspects and are yet to make a decision on the case’s merits. Despite the legal uncertainty, matadors are gearing up to resume the tradition brought by Spanish conquistadors five centuries ago.
During the suspension, Plaza de Toros argued that thousands of people were unable to freely exercise their profession, citing it as a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution. Additionally, they argued that thousands were deprived of their right to culture.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proposed a referendum on the future of bullfighting in Mexico City. Currently, only a few of Mexico’s 32 states have banned the practice, which, in 2018, generated an estimated $343 million in revenue and employed around 80,000 people.
As the controversial tradition makes a return to Mexico City, the debate surrounding the ethical and cultural aspects of bullfighting continues, with differing opinions on its place in modern society.