#CatalunaEsTaurina: La Noticia a Nivel Internacional – Spanish Court Overturns a Ban Against Bullfighting.

La Monumental de Barcelona libre de prohibición.
La Monumental de Barcelona libre de prohibición.

Dejamos aquí el artículo del famoso periódico neoyorquino donde se recoge la noticia relacionada con la protección de las corridas de toros en España y el pronunciamiento al respecto que hace el Tribunal Constitucional español. Esta es el primer pronunciamiento del Poder Judicial al respecto de la intención prohibicionista, lo dejamos en su idioma original citando al autor y fuente para todos los efectos requeridos.


The Constitutional Court of Spain overturned a ban against bullfighting on Thursday that had been approved by lawmakers in Catalonia six years ago, a decision that simultaneously outraged separatists in the region and animal activists.

The court voted 8 to 3 against the Catalan ban, finding that lawmakers from the region could not prohibit a practice that the justices said was enshrined in the cultural patrimony of the Spanish state.

In its ruling, the court said that regional politicians in Catalonia and elsewhere could regulate bullfighting and introduce specific measures, but that they could not ban it outright. The decision is not necessarily the final word, but any appeal against the constitutional court’s decision would also most likely have to be made before European courts.

Catalan politicians vowed on Thursday to never allow bullfights to return to Catalonia, without even mentioning a possible appeal.

The Catalan regional Parliament voted in 2010 to ban bullfighting, on the grounds that it represented unjustified cruelty to animals.

The ban was welcomed by animal rights activists as their most significant victory in Spain, and they were outraged by the reversal on Thursday.

“Taunting and killing bulls for entertainment is a brutal anachronism that the Catalan Parliament quite rightly voted to ban six years ago,” Joanna Swabe, the Humane Society International executive director for Europe, said in a statement, adding that overturning the ban was “morally retrograde.”

At the time the ban was approved, however, the issue had become wrapped up in the broader debate over Catalan independence, and bullfighting aficionados condemned it as politically motivated.

The vote in the Catalan Parliament came only one month after the Constitutional Court struck down part of a Catalan autonomy statute that had been approved by the region’s 5.5 million voters, as well as the Spanish Parliament.

Since then, the tensions between the politicians in Madrid and Barcelona have grown significantly. Catalonia’s regional leader, Carles Puigdemont, recently pledged to hold an independence referendum by next September, even as some other leading Catalan politicians are facing criminal lawsuits for earlier efforts to hold secessionist votes that had been declared illegal by the Spanish judiciary.

“It’s obvious the Constitutional Court never loses an opportunity to attack the legitimacy of the Parliament” of Catalonia, Lluís Salvadó, an official in the Catalan regional government, told reporters Thursday morning.

After Catalonia’s ban, Spain’s main conservative Popular Party, with the backing of the bullfighting sector, started legal action to overturn the ban. The conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which held a parliamentary majority until last December, also then introduced new legislation to more clearly define bullfighting as part of Spain’s cultural heritage.

The Catalan ban added to a series of problems for the bullfighting industry, which was already struggling to cope with mounting debts, cuts in public subsidies and a sharp drop in the number of bullfighting events in Spain.

Still, the main bullfighting association acknowledged at the time that its biggest concern was not the loss of income, but whether it would set a precedent for other regions in Spain.

A century ago, Catalonia had some of Spain’s most prestigious bullfighting societies and one of the country’s most fanatic public.

After the Plaza Monumental bullring was inaugurated in 1914, Barcelona became unique among Spanish cities and towns in operating three significant bullrings. By the time the ban was approved in 2010, however, the Monumental was the only ring left in the city, and the ban forced it to shut down in 2011.

There were as few as 400 season ticket holders, compared with 19,000 in Las Ventas, the bullring in Madrid, and most of the seats in the Barcelona ring were purchased by foreign tourists.

The lawsuit against the Catalan ban claimed that it breached basic rights — both to work and to be entertained — enshrined in the Spanish Constitution.

The practical consequences of the ruling are unclear, given that one of the Barcelona bullrings has already been converted into a shopping mall and the owners of the larger Monumental ring have similar reconversion plans.

Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, also pledged to keep her city free of bullfighting, “whatever the Constitutional Court says.” She told reporters that “we will work to ensure the ruling has no effects; we will do everything possible.”

Spain’s best cape-waving bullfighters in sequined suits have enjoyed a popularity in the country that has rivaled that of star soccer players. But they have also recently faced much more virulent criticism from animal rights activists, who argue that bullfighting is unworthy of a modern society.

At the same time, some animal rights activists have denounced the Catalan stance as hypocritical because regional lawmakers banned bullfighting in 2010 but made an exception for the “correbous” summer festivities held in some Catalan towns — during which bulls are also mistreated, according to animal activists, even if they are not fought to the death.

In some correbous, flares are attached to the bull’s horns, as it runs around the ring taunted by locals.

Twitter: @RaphaelMinder.


A version of this article appears in print on October 21, 2016, on page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: Bullfighting Ban Is Overturned in Spanish Court.

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