People in Ecuador hit the polls on May 7 to vote on a number of constitutional reforms proposed by President Rafael Correa, one of which was a proposed ban on bullfighting.
The alleged sport, where bulls are taunted before they are brutally killed by lance or barbed spear, is a 500-year-old tradition and considered by many to represent Ecuador’s cultural heritage.
Matadors and others opposed to the ban are arguing that it is an attack on the freedom of expression and culture that would put approximately 30,000 people out of work. The ban will still allow for bullfighting, as long as the bulls are not killed at the end, which has others worried that the sport will collapse entirely.
Supporters of the ban, who seem to be winning, see bullfighting as a cruel and pointless form of entertainment performed for blood-thirsty crowds.
Bullfighting can still be found in Colombia, Perú, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panamá and Bolivia. Legislative efforts are in the works in Mexico that would lead to a ban that is being supported by both legislators and citizens.
According to Ecuadorean law, the referendum needs half plus one of all valid votes for each question to pass. As of yesterday, the ban is winning.
Please sign the petition to President Rafael Correa showing your support of the ban.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theodorescott/