Police in Columbia are investigating an explosion near a bullring in Bogota last Sunday, which left at least 40 people injured.
While the motive behind the blast is currently not known, it suspiciously happened where a group of animal rights activists were assembling to hold a march in protest of the city reinstating bullfighting earlier this year.
The blood sport that pits a taunting matador against a bull, returned to Bogota last month following the constitutional court’s ruling that bullfighting was a form of artistic expression and part of the country’s heritage; overturning a 2012 ban which prohibited them.
To the disappointment of many who feel bullfighting is a form of animal abuse, they are once again a weekly occurrence in Columbia, taking place on Sundays in January and February.
The Humane Society International estimates that approximately 250,000 bulls are killed each year as a result of bullfighting. It lists Colombia as one of eight countries where bullfighting is legal. Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador also legally sanction bullfighting.
“The terrorists won’t intimidate us,” tweeted Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa who has admitted to being personally opposed to bullfighting “We are going to do all that’s necessary to capture them.”
According to the Bogota police press office, a minimum of 10 people injured during the attack were police officers and a dozen suspects were apprehended and taken into custody.
Some believe the explosion may have, in fact, been targeting the police that were gathered together at the scene because of the bullfight.
Jorge Restrepo, director of Colombia’s Conflict Analysis Resource Center (Cerac) explained to the BBC that the explosion was “possibly linked to a series of attacks against security forces in the capital that have taken place in recent months.”
More than 50,000 signatures were compiled on a change.org petition urging the constitutional court to reverse its ruling and end bullfighting in Colombia.
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Photo Credits: The Independent, BBC
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