COSTA RICA: People's Bullfight

In the tidy little mountain capital of San José it was fiesta time. The coffee had been harvested, the price was good, and everybody had some money. Thousands of ticos (Costa Ricans) jammed the broad green of the capital's Plaza Gonzáles Viquez for the annual four-day "Civic Festival."

Bullfights were the main course. Not traditional bullfights (these had long been forbidden in Costa Rica), but extemporaneous fights that pitted the rangy, long-horned bull against the people in, the ancient Iberian fashion—with the bull almost never getting hurt.

Last week, after giant firecrackers had been exploded and 40 selected bulls had been paraded...

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