Spanish teenage bullfighter in intensive care
Jairo Miguel, 14 years old just last month, is in intensive care in a hospital in Mexico following being seriously injured when one of his lungs was perforated during a bullfight. The bull who pierced his lung last Sunday weighed 430 kilos. His father, Antonio Sánchez Cáceres who was a bullfighter during the 70’s, is said to be in shock. This week Spanish television has shown footage of the father complaining about the fact that whereas boys are allowed to play other high risk “sports” in Spain, bullfighters have to be at least 16 year old before they are allowed into an official bullring. He said that he had only brought his son to Mexico to bide time because in Spain his son wasn’t allowed to fight.
Last Sunday’s bullfight was Jairo’s 25th and was held in the third largest bullring in Mexico and was supposed to celebrate the start of the San Marcos fiestas. Jorge de Haro, president of the National Association of Bull Breeders in Mexico told Spanish reporters that he had seen Jairo in a bullfight against a bull weighing 450 kilos last year and claimed that like tennis or any other sport bullfighting was better learnt as a child and in his opinion ‘the younger the better’.
In Spain bullfighting is prohibited until the age of 16, although in the world of bullfighting not everyone agrees with this age restriction. According to Emiliano López, from the Bullfighting school in Ciudad Real, what happened to Jairo last Sunday was an accident which was possible whatever age the bullfighter be it 12, 14 or 35 years old. He told El Pais that it was like learning to read or teething because not all children do that at the same time. He said that the laws in Spain were far too strict.
On the other hand, José Conde, from another bullfighting school in Algeciras said that a 14 year old should not be allowed to fight a bull in a bullring and said that this situation would never have arisen in Spain where the limit was set taking into account many factors like physical ability and maturity.
The latest child bullfighter in Mexico who drove the crowds wild is Rafita Mirabal who is just nine years old. At present he is fighting young bulls just under 2 years old in Mexico.
Meanwhile Jairo Miguel’s father, Antonio Sánchez Cáceres, was still trying to justify the situation from the hospital in Aguascalientes, Mexico where his son is in a serious condition. He said that at first Jairo’s Cuban mother did not understand how important bullfighting was for his son but that eventually she understood, like him, that this is a passion for Jairo, even a vocation and that nobody had put ideas into his son’s head.