Wednesday 18 January 2017

Matador's TV death reopens bullfight debate

Guy Hedgecoe and Gerard Couzens Madrid

Published 11/07/2016 | 02:30

Bullfighter Victor Barrio performs during a bullfight in Madrid earlier this year. Photo: AP
Bullfighter Victor Barrio performs during a bullfight in Madrid earlier this year. Photo: AP

The death of a Spanish matador, who was gored by a bull live on Spanish television, has reignited a national debate about bullfighting, as his wife said his passing was "unfair" and that her husband had lost his life in "glory".

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Victor Barrio (29) was gored in the thigh and chest during a bullfight in the eastern town of Teruel on Saturday. Although medics treated him by the bullring, they could not save his life.

He was the first Spanish matador to die in the bullring since 1985.

Yesterday, Barrio's widow, Raquel Sanz, thanked well-wishers for their support.

"Thanks to everyone," she wrote on Twitter.

"I cannot reply to you, I have no words. My life has gone, I have no strength, although I have a lot of thanks."

Even as tributes to Mr Barrio poured in, including one from prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who tweeted his condolences, animal rights activists began to speak out against the Spanish tradition, with many criticising the matador.

"With one less murderer walking around, the rest of us can rest more easily," said one comment under an article in the Left-wing newspaper 'Publico' by a reader named as Bender. Another reader, called Vivaercante, wrote: "There are few such absurd ways to lose your life."

PACMA, an animal rights political party, meanwhile began a campaign to save the mother of Lorenzo, the bull which killed Barrio and which is due to be slaughtered, as is the custom when a matador is fatally gored.

Irish Independent

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