Gored torero sparks row over child bullfighters
17 April 2007
MEXICO – A Spanish teenage torero was badly gored in a bullfight in Mexico, the latest victim of a controversial craze for child bullfighters sweeping Latin America.
Jairo Miguel, 14, was gored in the thorax and had his lung punctured by a 900-pound bull in Mexico City during a corrida.
Surgeons said the bull’s horn came within an inch of Miguel’s heart.
One of the youngest matadors in the world when he started fighting in Mexico two years ago, Miguel sought to evade the ban on child matadors in his native Spain, where 16 is the minimum age to face a bull in the ring. Matadors must be 18 before they can kill the animal.
In the increasingly competitive world of los toros ,(bulls) many young Spanish prodigies get round the rules by appearing in bullfights in Latin America, where the fashion for child toreros has become increasingly popular.
Some child bullfighters are as young as 10 or 12, but the youngest on record was Rafita Mirabal, who was only eight.
He faced calves hundreds of pounds of heavier than him in bullfights near Mexico City in 2005.
He still listened to stories on his mother’s knee yet did not appear daunted when he had to face potentially lethal calves in the ring.
But the fad for child toreros has been attacked by anti-bullfighting groups, doctors and child protection groups as irresponsible.
Maria Lopes, of the International Movement Against Bullfights, said both parents and governments which allow children to bullfight should be held responsible.
“Children, many from poor families, are seduced into the world of bullfighting by promises of fame, glory and above all money,” she said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news