I have criticized Mexican culture for its animal cruelty and extreme drinking (especially drunk driving). Both of these elements appear in this fascinating item from the La Plaza blog of the LA Times about a raucous celebration of bulls in a small Mexican town: Amateur bullfighting festival in Mexico ends with 23 injuries, August 25, 2008.
The Huamantlada, which is often compared to the running of the bulls event in Pamplona, takes place every year in this small rural town. The comparison to the event in Spain is inaccurate: the bulls didn't run anywhere. The town's 17 central streets were transformed into huge pens for the half-ton animals, which were mercilessly taunted by the crowd and pelted with plastic bottles and beer cans.
Many of the men who challenged the bulls, matador-style, knew what they were doing and approached the animals with caution and capes. But many didn't. The combination of alcohol, a screaming crowd and poor judgment was too much: 23 people ended up being carried away on stretchers by the Red Cross.
Oh, well! At least nobody was killed during the festivities, unlike last year...
Not everybody was so cautious, but at least nobody lost their lives. Last year, there were 24 injuries and one death — Pimental saw the whole thing. The victim was an older man, and very drunk, she said. He didn't want to sit with his family; he wanted to touch the bull.
"The animal took out his insides," Pimental recalled.