Art, Sport or Savagery?
Spaniard Weighs Pros & Cons of Her Country’s Controversial Fascination with Bullfighting
Editor’s Note: This article was written one week before Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino died after he tripped in the ring and was gored by a bull in southwestern France on June 17.
BY DOLORES GONZALEZ-POSADA
One year ago, in early July 2016, fighting bulls gored 11 people as thousands darted down a half-mile course of narrow, cobbled streets in Pamplona. It was the city’s annual nine-day “running of the bulls” event, a fiesta that dates back to medieval times and attracts participants from around the planet.
All 11 of the 2016 victims suffered serious injuries while countless others endured minor ones as the bulls (as they do every year) trampled and knocked over runners during the San Fermin Festival, which was broadcast live on Spanish television.
Over the past century, 15 people have died from gorings during Pamplona’s running of the bulls. Every year, between 50 and 100 people are injured. Also last year: in the southeastern Spanish village of Pedreguer near Valencia, a 28-year-old man was killed during another bull run. A bull’s horn pierced his lung and heart as he was trying to help a fellow runner during the event.
The running of the bulls ends when the bulls are waved in to a city bullring, where they’re ultimately killed by professional toreros (bullfighters) in an afternoon corrida (bullfight). Last year, 29-year-old Victor Barrio, one of Spain’s top bullfighters and a household name in the country, was gored to death in the ring in the town of Teruel, during a fight that was also aired on live TV. Spectators, (more…)
Midwestern Mom on a Mission: Bringing Justice to Wrongfully Convicted
Editor’s Note: Joan Treppa, a married suburban Minnesota mother, thought her life’s path had been set – but that all changed in 2009 after a chance encounter with the author of a book about six imprisoned Wisconsin men. They’d been convicted in the mid-1990s of killing a co-worker (Tom Monfils) inside a Green Bay paper mill. Described as an egregious miscarriage of justice, the case so enthralled Treppa that she decided she just had to get involved. Joan’s efforts over the last eight years to help free the men – men she firmly believes have been wrongfully convicted – prompted a new legal effort to do just that. (The Monfils case is also featured in The Reporters Inc.’s upcoming documentary, The Innocent Convicts.) Joan has now detailed her quest to reveal the truth in her new book: Reclaiming Lives: Pursuing Justice for Six Innocent Men. The Reporters Inc. is pleased to present this exclusive excerpt.
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“John is writing a true crime story,” my sister Clare told me on the phone, describing the new book being coauthored by John Gaie, a retired scientist and researcher she’d recently met.
“He’s collaborating with his former brother-in-law, exoneree Mike “Pie” Piaskowski, along with Denis Gullickson, (more…)