Sometimes when we visit Bogotá’s handsome bullfighting stadium, particularly during
school vacations, we meet Julian, who is nine years old and dreams of becoming a famous bullfighter. Julian models himself after ‘El Juli’, a Spaniard who is one of the stars of the sport.
Between practicing his moves, Julian likes to show visitors around the stadium, including the bullring and the elaborate stables (which are now empty). Julian’s a very personable and enthusiastic kid and he’d make a great tour guide – which is a good thing, since prospects in bullfighting these days are getting slimmer and slimmer. The fiesta brava has been restricted or banned in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and even parts of Spain. And Bogotá’s mayor prohibited bullfighting in Bogotá’s plaza, although the bullfighters won a court ruling that cities couldn’t ban bullfighting where it’s traditional.
The fight over bullfighting will continue. Meanwhile, Julian practices his veronicas, hoping one day to bring crowds to their feet.
It’s a good thing, though, that he’s got a back-up career in tour guiding.