Volume 3 Issue 12 - June 15, 2005

Dwarf people face bulls and death in Mexico

DNIS News Network - In Mexico, people with dwarfism are being subjected to gruesome and dangerous ‘mini-bullfights’, which are intended to be a comic version of Spain’s famous bullfights. This despite a growing awareness against the practice of exploiting abnormalities for the purpose of amusement continues.

According to a Reuters report, the Mexican ‘dwarf bullfighters’ are carrying on a tradition born in Spain along with regular bullfighting, as well as an even longer legacy of ‘little people’ as entertainers. While the young bullocks they use are half the weight of regular fighting bulls, they are bred to be aggressive, and from a dwarf’s perspective are just as frightening as the real thing, the report adds. “It is scary when you are face to face with a bull. It hurts when you get hit. And it is dangerous if the bull falls on you,” said Antonio Garcia, 40.

Dwarf people are forced to become entertainers as they are excluded by discrimination from many everyday professions. Achondroplasia, a genetic variation that is the most common form of dwarfism, affects around one in 30,000 to 40,000 people. Most dwarfs, defined as adults less than 4 feet 10 inches (1.45 metres) high and having atypically short limbs.

The small-statured ‘toreros’ wear traditional gold-trimmed matador suits with pink stockings and black slippers and use pink and red capes to perform. The news report highlights the neglected state of problems faced by people with dwarfism in Mexico, as there are no associations to address the issue of access in banks and public utilities.

In India there is a substantial section of people afflicted by dwarfism, and in states like Andhra Pradesh they have been fighting for its inclusion in the list of disabilities recognised under The Disability Act, 1995. They have succeeded in their fight too, as a recent High Court judgement stated that it should be considered a disability.

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