9 Jul, 2023 @ 19:30
1 min read

Four sexual assault cases reported at Spain’s Running of the Bulls fiestas 

Running Of The Bulls On Estafeta Street 1

A TOTAL of four police reports for sexual assault had been filed by Saturday at the world-famous Running of the Bulls fiestas in Pamplona. 

According to news agency Europa Press, the incidents involved the groping of females by male attendees of Sanfermines, as the event is known.

The mayor of Pamplona, a city located in the northern Navarre region, explained on Saturday that three of the suspects involved had been arrested and that the fourth was also likely to be detained. 

“Pamplona rejects any kind of sexual assault,” added Mayor Cristina Ibarrola, adding that so far the 10-day event was progressing without other incidents, with ‘a lot of people and a great atmosphere’.

It was at the Running of the Bulls fiestas in 2016 where one of Spain’s most notorious sexual assaults took place. On July 7 of that year, a group of five men raped an 18-year-old woman in the entrance to a building. 

The five men involved – part of a gang who called themselves La Manada, or the Wolf Pack, and who included a member of the military and a civil guard – were sentenced and imprisoned for their crimes. 

The case also prompted the current Socialist Party-run government to introduce a new sexual assault law that prioritised the issue of consent. 

The Sanfermines fiestas are held every year from July 6 to July 15, and feature the world-famous Running of the Bulls through the narrow streets of Pamplona. Every morning from July 7 to 15, six tame steers and six fighting bulls are released from a pen, and they career through the packed city streets to the bullring.

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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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