Bull's Ear, Plaza de Toros, Bogota, February 25, 2001



This 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.


To Medellin, March 1