Bullfighter Karla De Los Angeles Gored Twice, Is Very Zen About It


Mexican bullfighter Karla Sanchez San Martin, who performs under the stage name “Karla De Los Angeles,” suffered multiple non-fatal injuries by a 1,100-pound bull in Mexico City on Sunday.

San Martin, a 26-year-old single mother, was in the ring for the first time since 2011, when she withdrew to spend time with her daughter. The first injury came when the bull, named Gamusino, tossed her over its head; she then resumed the fight, only to be gored in the thigh and buttocks moments later. According to BBC, the bull also gored assistant Federico Dominguez as he tried to help De Los Angeles. Recovering in the hospital, she brushed off the incident, saying that she plans to fight again on January 18.

Here’s a video of the incident, if you are strong of stomach:

Karla De Los Angeles is one of a handful of female matadors around the world; she was taking part in an all-female event at Plaza Mexico, “festejo de damas.” According to PBS, there are records of combat between humans and bulls beginning 4,000 years ago; the first record of a female bullfighter dates back to the 17th century. Women were banned from becoming matadors in Spain during Franco’s reign, and although the ban was overturned in the ’70s, South America is known to be friendlier to women in the sport.

In Spain, opposition to bullfighting has strengthened over the years, in no small part due to the ongoing financial crisis. The country’s Catalonia region banned the sport in 2010, and a 2010 Metroscopia poll for the newspaper El País found that 60 percent of Spaniards dislike bullfighting (although nearly the same percentage opposed a ban). Mexico, which has a 500-year history of bullfighting, has recently considered a ban, as well.

The first and last time I attended a bullfight was in Sevilla, Spain a few years ago, during which I immediately burst into tears and sprinted to McDonald’s in a short-lived fervor of American exceptionalism. But, you know, I might have stuck around if the matador had been a woman.

Image via Eduardo Verdugo/AP

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