COLOMBIA, February 25
is my first bullfight. I've been to bull rodeos in Central America,
but never this. Outside a handful of protestors carry placards saying
"Torture is neither art nor culture."
Inside an impatient crowd calls for blood: "Matalo." Only
the best matadors are awarded a bull's ear after it falls. Three fights
and so far none have been awarded the trophy. But the matador in the
ring now is different. He wows the crowd with his movements and total
control of the bull. He lunges forward with his
sword and the bull falls.
The crowd adores him. He struts with his prize as people throw him wine
jugs and flowers. He bows and demonstrates his generosity tossing his
prize back to the crowd, like a bride throwing a bouquet. A child sitting
a few rows in front of me catches the ear. She holds
it proudly as the crowd roars approval.