BULLFIGHTING DEBATE

“I’m not a murderer,” Spanish bullfighter tells protestors

Torero José Antonio Morante de la Puebla is waging a one-man crusade against activists

Bullfighter Morante de la Puebla tries to talk to one of the protestors in Ronda on Sunday.
Bullfighter Morante de la Puebla tries to talk to one of the protestors in Ronda on Sunday.jon nazca / reuters

“I’m a bullfighter, not a murderer.” Those were the words that torero José Antonio Morante de la Puebla offered to anti-bullfighting protestors who had just read out a manifesto written by the Málaga Anti-Bullfighting Collective at an animal rights protest in the Andalusian town of Ronda on Sunday.

The Seville-born bullfighter is conducting his own personal crusade against those who oppose the so-called “fiesta,” a campaign that he is conducting alone, with no strategy, and that is born more from the heart than the head. His actions are, however, having quite an effect given his reputation within the bullfighting world.

The campaign has no strategy, and is born more from the heart than the head

Thanks to his activities, Morante has a court date for a conciliation session with Petrus Johannes Martinus, an animal-rights activist against whom Morante filed a complaint on August 20.

Martinus jumped into the bullring in Palma de Mallorca this summer, during one of Morante’s bullfights. He then did the same thing in Marbella, but on that occasion it seems there were more than just words exchanged between the activist and the bullfighters in the ring, something that could cost the banderillos a fine.

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It was these incidents that prompted Morante to put matters in the hands of his lawyers, who are demanding compensation of €100,000 from the activist for damages, among other offenses.

In Ronda, matters did not go so far. The protestors protested, and Morante had his say. “It’s a provocation as far as I’m concerned for them to come to a place that is so full of mystery and beauty, and so defined by bullfighting as Ronda is,” he said. And then he went on his way.

English version by Simon Hunter.

Errata

Due to a translation error, the word “killer” has been replaced with “murderer” in the updated version of this story.

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