Eleven men were arrested over suspected sexual abuse at Spain’s infamous bull running festival in Pamplona this year, according to local authorities.
Depicted in the Ernest Hemingway novel ‘The Sun Also Rises,’ the nine-day San Fermin festival has been plagued in the past by sexual violence and animal cruelty claims.
This year’s festival saw 11 men arrested over sexual abuse. According to the local council, there were 14 complaints regarding unwanted sexual contact at San Fermin this year, with two of the cases involving sexual assault.
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The arrest figure was documented by the country’s Civil Protection Board and follows a campaign by the Pamplona City Council to encourage a “party free from sexual aggression.”
Pamplona Mayor Joseba Asiron admitted that while overall crime at the festival dropped this year, attendance at the 2017 festivities suggests “a decline in tourists and foreign visitors.”
The council condemned the attacks, including an incident in which a woman was assaulted in the early hours of July 11.
“The City Council reaffirms its rejection and condemnation of any type of aggression, violence or sexist attitude in [Pamplona] and commits itself to continue collaborating to eliminate sexist aggressions and improve security for women,” a statement by the council read.
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Overall, the council says crime complaints were down 15 percent from 1,923 in 2016 to 1,671 this year. A total of 51 people was hospitalized at the festival’s chaotic running of the bulls, seven of these as a result of being gored by the volatile animals.
Over the course of the festival period, 1.45 million people attended, according to a council tally, including 434,000 people at four fireworks displays in the municipality of Navarro.
“We are getting a balanced program,” the mayor said in a statement. “A commitment has been made to recover the family sense of the holidays, thus ensuring the generational change of San Fermins.”