A video of a bull being kicked, stabbed, hit with sticks and ultimately beaten to death by an unruly mob during a festival in northern Colombia has sparked outrage, drawing the ire of animal-rights activist and a popular former president.
The video clip, which has garnered over 200,000 views since a animal rights organization posted it on YouTube over the weekend, was shot in the town of Turbaco during corraleja, a kind of bull-fighting festival that allows spectator participation. The annual festivals are popular on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
The video was denounced by Colombia officials — a public defender told the Associated Press that the images were “Dante-esque, painful and inhumane.” The Ministry of Culture issued a press release calling for those responsible to be punished and questioning whether such festivals should be legal.
Turbaco Mayor Myron Martinez defended the festival.
“In the corraleja festival there are always injuries, animals beaten and horses killed. These are the kinds of incidents that form part of the traditions and customs of such festivals,” he said.
The also drew the attention of ex-president Álvaro Uribe, who retweeted Colombia journalist Guillermo Rodriguez who said “Such is the state of Colombia that there is profound indignation for the killing of a bull, but there is none for the assassination of soldiers and police.” Uribe retweeted and added his own comment, questioning why there isn’t a similar public outrage over terrorism.
Colombia twitter responded to the former president’s comment with the outrage he was looking for.
“Uribe suggests an affinity between anti-bullfighting activists and terrorist sympathizers. More McCarthyist than McCarthy.”