The bullring is a staple at traditional summer festivals, where men usually run in front of and away from charging bulls.
The bullring is a staple at traditional summer festivals, where men usually run in front of and away from charging bulls.

The death of 29 year old Melvin Valverde has brought to light that “improvisados” – amateurs who enter the bullring  – at the Palmares Festival are not covered by insurance.

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) – state insurer – confirmed that the festival organizers have a policy to cover workers, but the amateurs entering the ring are not deemed employees and thus are not covered under the policy.

“Nervousness and inexperience” is what did in Valverde, a father of 3, that entered the ring to follow through on a bet. His mother told the press that she tried dissuade her son who had never entered a bullring before, but to no avail.

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Valverde was thrown in the air by the first bull of the night, landing on his neck causing injury that caused death at the scene. First reports indicated that the man had died in hospital, authorities however confirmed that the man had expired in the ring. A television video shows the man thrown in the air by the bull, landing on his neck, then picked up by the bull and thrown in the air and again landing on his neck.

Unlike the organizers of the Zapote Fair that demand improvisados to purchase an insurance policy before being allowed in the ring, no such requirement is in place at Palmares.


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