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10 arrested in Valladolid after illegal cockfights are busted up

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The practice of cockfighting goes back 6,000 years, but animal rights activists say that it’s time to end this cruel tradition once and for all. Photo: Wikimedia Foundation

Ten people, including at least one minor, were arrested in Valladolid for their involvement in organizing illegal cockfights. 

The suspects are also in hot water for selling alcohol without a license and trespassing, as the cockfights were hosted in a locale without the permission of the owner. 

Hearing the commotion, neighbors informed city police which promptly arrived and arrested the event organizers and a few others who did not manage to evade capture. 

Cockfighting is a blood sport due in some part to the physical trauma the cocks inflict on each other, which is sometimes increased by attaching metal spurs to the fowls’ natural spurs. While not all fights are to the death, the cocks may endure significant physical trauma.

Critics say that banning the “sport” is hypocritical since other forms of violence against animals remain legal, including bullfighting.

A law prohibiting cockfighting passed in Yucatán in 2019, but matches continue to be held in several communities, sometimes even with the knowledge of local authorities. 

Earlier: New law to drive bullfighting out of Mexico City

For example, in 2020 a cockfighting tournament was held in the town of Dzilam González with the apparent blessing of the mayor, Christhian Carillo Baeza. 

Last summer, a law was passed in the Mexican state of Hidalgo declaring cockfighting as part of the state’s “cultural irrigate,” effectively doing away with all previous restrictions. 

Similar laws have also been passed in other states such as Aguascalientes, Nayarit, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas, and are expected to soon pass in Chihuahua. 

Advocates of cockfighting in Yucatán are now saying that they intend to file a similar motion and bring back this bloody form of entertainment in the name of tradition. 

Cockfighting is tolerated, though technically not permitted, in the Mexican states of Michoacán, Jalisco, Sinaloa, and Veracruz, mostly during regional fairs and other celebrations. 

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