Opponents of bullfighting in Baja California waited for hours on Thursday, April 7, expecting the state legislature to debate and vote on a proposed law that would have outlawed the bloody spectacle, but at the last minute legislators voted to send the measure back to a committee for further study.
According to the daily newspaper El Mexicano, the motion to suspend consideration of the bullfighting ban passed on a vote of 12 in favor, 8 opposed, and 2 abstentions.
According to La Jornada de Baja California, the April 7 vote was the fourth time legislators have postponed consideration of the bullfighting ban.
The bill's sponsor, deputy Francisco Barraza Chiquete, who first proposed the ban in 2014, said the measure has been thoroughly vetted by appropriate legislative committees, but its opponents have once again managed to block it.
If Baja California were to outlaw bullfighting, it would become the fourth state in Mexico to do so, joining the states of Coahuila, Sonora, and Guerrero.
According to an April 8 story in La Jornada, proponents of the ban have taken to Twitter in an effort to pressure legislators into approving the measure.
The (translated) La Jornada story said, “Using the hashtag #BCLibredeTauromaquia, thousands of Twitter users shared comments supporting the proposal and against…. Deputy David Ruvalcaba — who sought the suspension of the vote — and also the rest of the legislators who voted in favor of it, considering that animal torture and mistreatment must not be synonymous with entertainment.”
The anti-bullfighting movement has enlisted the support of several prominent Mexican entertainers and other celebrities, according to the story. A petition circulated on the website Change.org has already gathered 90,000 signatures, the newspaper reported.
Proponents of the ban have speculated that the latest postponement was approved because of upcoming statewide elections on June 5 in which legislators will be up for reelection, according to multiple press accounts.