Bullfighter sparks outrage by parading with Franco flag in Spain

Pedro Ruis
THE PIRATE: Bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla with the Franco flag draped over his shoulders

SPANISH bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla has caused a huge storm of protest after he paraded around a bullring in Villacarrillo, Jaen with a Franco flag across his shoulders.

Politicians quickly took to Twitter to denounce the act including the Secretary General of Podemos in Andalucia, Teresa Rodríguez.

Another Twitter user wrote, “Spain XXI century. The bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla exalts fascism. Double disgust .. Animal killer and fascist.”


Padilla has defended himself by saying that the flag was thrown to him by the public.

“I didn’t notice the eagle.”

“That symbol is a thing of the past and I live in the present.”

The 44-year-old torero is from Jerez de la Frontera. 

On October 7, 2011 he was gored by a bull in Zaragoza, almost dying from his injuries.

From a single horn wound through his skull, he suffered multiple fractures to both jaw and skull, facial paralysis, loss of hearing in his right ear and of sight in his left eye.

Five months later  he returned to the bullring with an eyepatch – gaining the nickname ‘The Pirate’.


  1. His injury was spectacular. He lost his eye, poked out by the horn – FROM INSIDE ! That he survived is testimony to the skill of surgeons and the entire medical team.


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