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Hundreds protest bullfighting in Mexico


Mexico City, Feb 5 (IANS/EFE): Several hundred animal rights activists took to the streets of Mexico City over the weekend to call for an end to bullfighting in Mexico.

The demonstration was organized by animal rights group AnimaNaturalis, which contends that bullfighting subjects animals to torture and suffering.

Partially clothed protesters covered themselves with red paint to simulate bleeding during the demonstration.

The protesters symbolized "the deaths suffered by the bulls that are victims of bullfighting in this country", AnimaNaturalis said in a statement.

AnimaNaturalis Internacional founder Leonora Esquivel Frias organized the protest "with the goal of drawing the attention of the political sectors and media to the need to abolish these cruel and bloody spectacles in which an animal is tortured to death", the animal rights group said.

The protest took place Sunday around Mexico City's iconic Monument to the Revolution and was once again the largest event of its type targeting bullfighting in the country.

Animal rights activists have now held protests against bullfighting for five straight years in the capital.

Activists formed a human wall, holding up signs and shouting slogans against bullfighting.

"Mexico is a country marked by violence, so making a spectacle of it takes us backward on our road to having a culture of peace and respect for other forms of life," Esquivel said.

About 9,000 bulls are slaughtered every year at rings in Mexico, where bullfighting dates back to the 16th century, animal rights groups say.

Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are the Latin American countries where bullfighting is most deeply rooted.

Chile, however, banned bullfighting shortly after it gained its independence from Spain in 1818, but rodeos, another target of animal rights activists, are popular in the South American country.

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