Tag Archives: Medinaceli

Spain: torture as entertainment

Brussels 13.10.2021 “Spain… join the 21st century! This game is a sadistic form of torture that reminds us of the times when gladiators were fighting in the colosseum or even before!!” calls OIPA NGO, demanding to stop the barbarism of torturing bulls with fire for fun. The ritual usually takes place every year around 13th November at midnight.

However all this suffering is only the beginning: the following day the bull will be killed in a slaughterhouse.
What is even more astonishing is that the event represents a huge risk also for humans that are watching. A few months ago, a 71-year-old man has been charged by a bull on fire in Jerica and died, for instance. Those in charge of organizing these festivals refuse to accept the danger to humans and say it is not that painful after all for the bulls.

The bull is tied to a pole in the middle of a square. In the meantime, hot ashes are scattered around the floor of the arena. Five bonfires, one for each of the holy martyrs of Medinaceli, light up the bullring where the ritual will take place.

The torture begins: a wooden frame is forcibly attached to the bull’s head. Either sides of the wooden frame are then set on fire, giving the impression that the bull has flaming horns.
The poor creature is then released and can do nothing but run around in pain at extremely high speed with the risk to crash, in an attempt to escape the flames and avoid the bonfires. The animal would probably have been blinded because of the fire burning its cornea. Every so often bulls hit their heads so fast that they die.

This atrocious physical and mental torture, considered as a “tradition” takes the name of ‘Toro Jubilo’ or ‘Bou Embolat’ and is still practiced in two Spanish regions, namely Catalonia and the Valencia Community.