Activist Eliana Albasetti said that if a practice is “traditional, it does not mean that it should not be changed.” Meanwhile, lawyer María Celeste Jiménez warned that it is not good to validate activities that are a social and human setback.
75% of Chileans stated that they do not feel identified with the rodeo as a typical activity in the country, according to the latest survey carried out by Criteria. Even so, in the Commission on Principles, Civil and Political Rights of the Constitutional Council, representatives of the Republican Party and Chile Vamos promoted an article that defines that “the national dance is the cueca and the national sport is the Chilean rodeo.”
In conversation with Radio and Diario Universidad de Chile, the animal rights lawyer and president of Anima Naturalis (Chile), María Celeste Jiménez , pointed out that what is intended with the eventual consecration of rodeo as a national sports in the new Constitution is to obtain more economic resources. for this practice, along with penalizing any public opposition to it .
“When you declare an activity as national and as something that has to do with the honor of the country, you elevate it to a category in the Constitution in which whoever opposes that is offending the country,” he explained.
In 2009, the Law on Responsible Ownership of Pets and Companion Animals (Cholito Law) was enacted, which does not distinguish between animals. However, the lawyer explained that if the Constitution “cuts off the possibility that there is crime in the rodeo, because it is a national emblem and would be separated from that possibility , you are clearly allowing anything to happen in the rodeo .”
Those who promote this activity defend that “the rodeo has evolved in its relationship with animals, being governed by a Manual of animal welfare and embouchures that regulates the treatment and care of horses and cattle both inside and outside the medialuna,” as explained to At the beginning of July, the director-treasurer of the Chilean Rodeo Federation, Claudio Aravena Flores, before the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, in the midst of dialogue on a bill that seeks to declare rodeo as a national sport.
Likewise, he assured that rodeo is not just any sport, but one that “promotes Chilean culture and national identity.”
In this regard, the founder of the NGO Animal Libre, Mauricio Serrano , stated that the organization believes in promoting Chileanness, but through activities that do not harm others . “In any activity, in which there is a clear and consensual position, when we move on to lead the other, this must already be questioned. There are limits,” he asserted.
In that sense, he commented that “when we promote folklore through music, dance, food and hundreds of other forms of folk and traditional artistic expression” there is no harm to others, nor is there any mistreatment involved. Therefore, he indicated that these cultural activities are those that as a society we must encourage “over others, such as in this case the rodeo, which we must already eliminate.”
In the same way, the animal rights activist and co-founder of the Empathy Sanctuary, Eliana Albasetti , recognized that the rodeo is a traditional activity, but said that if any practice is “traditional, that does not mean that it should not be changed, even more so. when that tradition ends up to the detriment of someone . ”
“And for someone to be considered someone, they just have to have the particularity of feeling, they don’t have to be your own species,” he highlighted.
Why rodeo should not be the Chilean national sport?: A door that is beginning to open
The criminal defender specializing in animal law, María Celeste Jiménez, considers that it is dangerous for rodeo to be a national sport because it means that from that point on the State “will provide resources for the execution of this animal abuse.”
“Be careful, this is a door that is beginning to open, because the best friends of the rodeo huasos are the lords of greyhound racing , they are the lords of coleus, they are the lords of other forms of animal abuse,” he stated.
Furthermore, Jiménez explained that from criminal policy, “which is the science that studies why crimes are created, how to prevent them, why people become bad, why we penalize behavior or not, from green criminology and the FBI (United States Federal Bureau of Investigation), it has been considered that abuse and cruelty to animals is a hard fact when considering that the great abusers of human beings are also born from this .
“So, if we allow them to be given carte blanche to exhibit in crescents, to exhibit, to give more money so that more crescents and rodeos can be made, we are generating praise, a form of animal abuse that makes us more bad people.” . That is why I see a criminal policy reason behind it when it comes to opposing us,” he argued.
Thus, he considered that “it is not good to open doors through which these ways of validating activities that in general are a social and human setback enter . ”
Likewise, animal defender, Eliana Albasetti, expressed that the evolution of society has allowed the use of animals to become obsolete, and with rodeo as a national sport “we are going against what world civilization would be . ”
For the same reason, Albasetti rejected the claims of rodeo defenders that they are the ones who love the animals the most. “They love them because they take them as a resource, as something that makes them money, they don’t want them to protect them. “Animals do not live nor are they cared for in order to give them peace, to make them happy,” she reproached.
The activist highlighted that those who practice this “so-called sport” love and care for animals “because they then sell their bodies, their leather, their skins, use them and abuse them to generate fun. That’s not wanting . “