Shouting “Torturers” and and “Reason, not tradition” dozens of anti-bullfighting protestors clash with police outside Quito’s Plaza de San Blas Belmonte bullring Wednesday night. Five protesters were arrested.
Although bullfighting is banned in most of Ecuador, the results of a 2011 constitutional amendment, it is allowed in Quito during the city’s annual festival.
Following the arrests, the bullfight proceeded without incident. Spanish bullfighters Enrique Ponce and Daniel Luque were the featured performers.
“We condemn the killing of these innocent animals and reject the bullfighting as a sport,” said Juan Jose Ponce, of the activist group Animval Defense and Liberation (ADLA). “It is a violent spectacle that is a symbol of cultural annihilation of our ancestors. It is a relic of Spanish colonialism.”
ADLA member David Proaño said protesters would continue to press their cause despite the arrests. “The magnificent animals are tortured, himiliated and killed in the worst possible way,” he said. “It is time to put this bloody history behind us.”
Businessman and rancher José Luis Cobo, who organized the bullfight, called the protesters “a silly distraction” and said the had not respect for tradition.” He said the night bullfights went on without incidpent. “We had a full house and the reception has been very big and strong, everything went well.”
Cobo added: “These is Quito’s fiesta and the fights have always been a part of it. We will fight to continue the ceremonies of our forefathers.”
Plaza de San Blas Belmonte is located in Quito’s historic district.”