May 25, 2019

In Madrid, bullfighting becomes an election issue

A Spanish matador at the Las Ventas bullring in the 2019 San Isidro festival. Photo: Jorge Sanz/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Spain's newly risen far-right movement is taking a bullish approach to politics.

Catch up quick: The far-right Vox party appointed 3 bullfighters, or toreros, as candidates in April's general election, the AFP reports. As the world's foremost bullfighting event continues in Madrid, the sport is striking a new rift between Spain's political parties.

The divide: At the San Isidro Festival, the far-right defends a lethal sporting tradition that ends when the bull or the torero dies. Madrid's outgoing left-wing mayor, on the other hand, has promised to implement bullfights "without blood or death."

The bottom line: Bullfights that end with the bull's death in the ring — a cultural tradition in Spain since the 19th century — are legal in Spain, part of France, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela and some areas in Ecuador.

Go deeper: Spain's fractured politics on display in general election

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