The bullfighters union of Yucatán has requested that Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal allow bullfighting to return to Mérida’s Plaza de Toros.
The union says that it is vital that they be allowed to return to work, as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought great economic hardship on themselves and their families.
“We are confident that the governor will see that it is time for bullfighting to make its comeback. The sport is an important part of our culture and heritage, as well as our means of making a living,” said the union in a press statement.
The union also said that they would be happy to work with the government to come up with strategies that would allow them to return to work while protecting the health of attendees.
The governor’s office confirmed that they received the request and should have an answer within a couple of weeks.
After nearly a year at the second-highest stage of alert, yesterday the state government announced it was dropping some of its COVID-19 protocols. Entertainment venues such as cinemas and theaters are now able to operate up to 50% capacity.
However, it remains unclear how this change of policy will affect events such as pro-baseball games, soccer matches or bullfighting.
Bullfighting is a physical contest that involves a bullfighter and animals attempting to subdue, immobilize, or kill a bull, usually according to a set of rules, guidelines, or cultural expectations.
While it is considered by some to be a sport, critics say that there is nothing sporting about harassing or killing an animal for entertainment.
Bullfighting is legal in only a few countries besides Mexico, including Spain, France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.
In a recent poll by Rerforma, 59% of Mexicans said that they would like to see an end to the practice of bullfighting in the country.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has also weighed in on the issue and suggested that the country hold a referendum on whether to allow bullfighting to continue in Mexico.
Mérida’s bullfighting ring was built in 1929 and is a recreation of the famous bullfighting arena in Granada, Spain.
Bullfighting is popular across much of Yucatán and is the centerpiece of many festivals, such as the annual Fiesta de Reyes in Tizimín, which runs from Dec. 28 to Jan. 19.