After the Colombian national government prohibited bullfighting activities where minors are used as bullfighters, the remaining bullfights in the festival of the city of Cali will go ahead, but without two underage bullfighters. On 28th December 2022, the Ministry of Labour ordered the suspension of the bullfights because two minors were confirmed to participate in the festival, but the organisers, Tauroemoción, have decided to remove them so bullfighting can resume.

Jimmy Dranguet, the Secretary of Security, explained that bullfights can be held as long as Marco Pérez and Mariana Mantilla Lemus, the two teenage bullfighters, do not participate. He said, “the event can be held as long as the Plaza de Toros and the company Tauroemoción guarantee that minors will not participate in this event. The Ministry made the decision that we share as an administration and we categorically prohibited the participation of minors in a bullfighting event in the city. They do not have permission, in addition, because of their status as minors and because the Ministry considers it is one of the most aberrant forms of child labour, the participation of minors in this Fair was not authorized. The activities of ‘Tauroemoción’ will be able to continue, but guaranteeing that the government’s decision is complied with.”

Recently, the Senate of the Republic of Colombia approved with 50 votes in favour and four against a bill to gradually ban bullfighting. To become a law, it will now need to be passed by the Colombian House of Representatives. If that happens, it is possible that, in a few years, the festival of Cali will have to find other ways to celebrate instead torturing bulls and putting children at risk of injury and death. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.