Animal rights activists pressure Mexico City congress to ban bullfights

Mexico City, Jan 4 (EFE).- A group of anti-bullfighting activists on Tuesday protested on the steps of the Mexico City Congress and threatened to stage a sit-in there until lawmakers bring up for debate a bill to prohibit bullfighting.

The gathering was convened by the First Sit-In for the Abolition of Bullfighting in Mexico, activists for which already planted themselves outside the Federal District’s Legislative Assembly for 44 days in 2017.

Last December the capital legislature’s Animal Welfare Committee approved a decree whereby, if approved, bullfighting would be prohibited.

The bill is aimed at “prohibiting the celebration of events in which bulls, steers or calves are mistreated, tortured or deprived of life.”

The measure establishes that the Mexico City Political Constitution recognizes the protection of animals “as sentient beings” and asserts that, thus, they should receive dignified and respectful treatment.

However, since the document was approved it has not moved to the full chamber for debate and that has sparked unease among the animal rights activists.

“We’re here to exert pressure. We want the initiative to move into – and be voted on – in the full body. We don’t want the interests of the bullfighting businessmen to outweigh that,” said Alma Rosa Vazquez, a member of the animal rights group.

According to the group’s members, they intend to stage assorted protests to exert pressure on local lawmakers to revisit the issue and not “let it be forgotten.”

The demonstrators, a small group numbering less than 10, announced that they will gather once again on Jan. 13 to begin staging their sit-in before the capital’s congress, just as they did in 2017.

“Many things have happened in four years. We’re the majority. Fortunately, the new generations already know that bullfighting is violence and torture,” Zoyla Alejandra Rosales said.

According to figures compiled by the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), one of the political groupings supporting the decree along with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), in Mexico more than 70 percent of the public is in favor of abolishing bullfighting, a percentage that is similar in the capital.

In Mexico, bullfighting has already been prohibited in the states of Sonora, Guerrero and Coahuila but has been declared a cultural and material asset in Aguascalientes, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Queretaro, Zacatecas, Michoacan and Guanajuato.

EFE jce/mqb/cpy/bp

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