On July 9 2016, a professional bullfighter was gored to death in Spain, during a televised bullfight in the eastern part of the country.
According to Spanish media reports, Victor Barrio, 29, is the first Spanish professional bullfighter to die in the bullring since 1985. Barrio was caught while trying to lure the bull using his cape in a manoeuvre known as “muletazo.”
Since Barrio’s death, many people in the country have renewed their calls to have bullfight events banned. Many observers believe it is a dangerous sport that should ceased to exist.
Local reporters in the province of Teruel, Aragon, where the event was held, said Barrio had given the bull a tough fight during the event. The bull named Lorenzo was reportedly struggling during the fight. As things seem to be going on well for Barrio, Lorenzo caught him unaware. The 1,166-pound Lorenzo caught the bullfighter on his side, sending him tumbling to the ground. Lorenzo then rammed his horn through Barrio’s chest.
The bull continued his attack on Barrio until other colleagues of Barrio arrived to distract the bull, in order to take injured Barrio out of the ring. He was immediately sent to a nearby hospital, but did not survive. Barrio was unconscious when he was taken to the hospital. Doctors confirmed that the goring penetrated his lung and aorta. This is said to have caused failure of the other organs, leading to Barrio’s untimely demise. Barrio’s wife is said to have witnessed the game from the crowd, when her husband was gored by the bull.
It is said Lorenzo was the third bull of the day. The event, which caused the death of Barrio, was part of a festival named Feria del Angel. Commentators of the bullfight in Spain say deaths in the bullring are rare.
Mis condolencias a la familia y los compañeros de Víctor Barrio, torero fallecido está tarde en Teruel. Descanse en paz. MR
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) July 9, 2016
Barrio’s death attracted the attention of prominent personalities in the country. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy tweeted, expressing his condolences to the family and colleague of the deceased.
The last Spanish bullfighter to be killed is said to be a man named Jose Cubero Sanchez “El Yiyo” in 1985. Two years after the death of Sanchez, a Colombian bullfighter, Jose Eslava Caceres also died after the bull he was fighting with wedged against the boards at the edge of the ring, and gored him through his lungs.
However, while deaths are uncommon in the bullring, it is said injuries are very common. In 2013 alone, it was estimated that a total of 31 bullfighters were gored. Some of the injuries sustained by the bullfighters ranged from minor to life threatening.
Telegraph quotes a bullfighter historian, Alexander Fiske-Harrison as saying that a total of 533 bullfighters have been killed in Spain since 1700. Fiske-Harrison is the author of “Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight.” He has been closely monitoring the sport for a longtime.
Bullfighting is said to be a centuries-long tradition in Spain. However, recently, even before the death of Barrio, the sport has come under heavy public criticisms. Some cities and councils have considered banning the controversial game forever.
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