20 Sep, 2022 @ 17:00
1 min read

Police to investigate circumstances of viral video where bulls charge a human wall at Peñiscola fiestas

No pasaran Peñiscola
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THE video from Peñiscola, Valencia region, quickly went viral. In it, a large group of people are seen from above crowded into an archway on the street. They are jumping up and down and shouting: “¡No pasarán! ¡No pasarán!” (They won’t get past.) But then the young bulls appear, and, surprise surprise, they do indeed get past, knocking everyone flying and disappearing up the street.

The incident is the latest in a black summer for bull-running fiestas in Spain, which has seen eight people killed in the Valencia region alone and more than 300 injuries. Experts blame this high number of fatalities on people not following the rules properly, and not being aware of just how dangerous the animals can be. 

The authorities in the municipality of Peñiscola have opened an investigation into the video, regional sources told Spanish daily El Diario. They want to find out whether there was any infringement of the rules for the local fiestas, in particular the presence of under-16s. 

Local council sources told El Diario that the incident took place during the ongoing fiestas, which are actually known as “no pasarán” given the regular attempt to use a human wall to stop the bulls from passing in this way. The same sources said that all of the proper permits were in place and that there had been no injuries. 

The most recent death at a bull-running fiestas occurred last week, with an 80-year-old man gored in Valencia after he mistakenly entered an area where the animal was located. Meanwhile, a butcher was also attacked by a bull at a bullfight after it jumped up after being brought in from the ring. The animal was supposed to have been immobilised but was in fact still able to move. 

In total, 12 people have been killed by bulls across Spain since Easter, making it the bloodiest year since 2015. 


Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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