Tuesday January 8, 2008

Cockfighting bust

cockfighting map

The spot marked above (click to zoom in) was the site of a major cockfighting bust this weekend. 37 people were arrested, with “a mob of suspects” getting away, and 40 roosters were found on the premises, two shot to death, Michael-Vick-style.

How the bust happened is that somebody heard the gunshots, called that shit in, and all police had to do was swarm in (helicopter and all). So, that’s fine. I get why cockfighting is illegal, but I sort of hope the law goes easy on the perpetrators, mostly elderly Latin-America men. I raised an eyebrow when I read that the case was being handled by the “organized-crimes bureau,” which I take to mean Miami Dade PD’s Special Investigations Division. And get this: “Big cockfighting busts are usually limited to extended investigations.”

Yeah, that’s right: the folks charged with conducting “major economic, narcotic, criminal conspiracy, auto theft, and organized crime investigations, and investigations associated with prostitution, gambling, and pornography that exceed the resources of other departmental elements” ALSO find the time to conduct extended investigations into cockfighting rings. Am I the only one that wishes they would spend their time otherwise?

But rest easy, my cock-fighting fans: at the rate of one closure every 2.5 years, it doesn’t look like they’re making much progress taking down this shadowy criminal conspiracy. We gather that cockfighting goes on un-much-abated in our lands. So, now a moment of silence for the cocks.

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  1. Pirate of Penzance    Tue Jan 8, 08:32 AM #  

    Is it OK to cross swords in a cockfight?

  2. Jonathan    Tue Jan 8, 08:58 AM #  

    Cockfighting is fucking ridiculous.

  3. Steve    Tue Jan 8, 09:18 AM #  

    Pack of elitist snobs. You really need to respect other people’s cultures and customs. — Michael Vick

  4. alesh    Tue Jan 8, 09:46 AM #  

    Is cockfighting morally equivalent to dog fighting? If so, how does it compare to eating lobster that has been boiled alive?

  5. Carlos Miller    Tue Jan 8, 11:35 AM #  

    I think they should start cracking down on cock blocking too.

  6. Duran    Tue Jan 8, 02:10 PM #  

    Alesh, some will argue cockfighting is a cultural tradition. Actually its legal and a very popular “sport” in Puerto Rico.

    Some, however, might not see it in the same light as dogfighting, because dogs tend to me “man’s best friend”, but clearly it’s still on the same lines: having animals fight to the death for enjoyment and gambling.

  7. mapache    Tue Jan 8, 02:40 PM #  

    Cockfighting in Mexico is really a big thing. Culturally, traditionally and the whole thing is really fun. Betting is illegal in Mexico except in the horse tracks and in Cockfighting arenas. Yes, there are cockfighting arenas, they are called “palenques” and some of them are so big that usually in the intermission you get a very famous Mexican artist like “lucero”, “Alejandra Guzman”, a big Mariachi band or something to play for an hour. The palenque at Leon in the state of Guanajuato is huge.. There are four to six players or “partidos” each of them brings various cocks varying in wieght, there is a fee to enter as one of the partidos, usually between 15,000.00 pesos (1300.00 usd) to 100,000.00 pesos (9000.00 usd) a portion of which goes to the municipality you are playing in. Your partido goes into a raffle and they tellyou whom you are playing against. then you get a colour to which your partido is asigned, its usually red and green. This is also done so people in the grades can tell whom they are betting for or against. There are designated “bookies” that take your bet or you can bet on the side with some other folks on the grades although by doing this there is no guarantee you will get paid if you win, whereas the bookies are run by the palenque organizers. I am aware of the whole inhumane thing to let cocks fight like this, but unlike dog fighting which are mistreated and bred to fight, these particular type of cocks (should i call them roosters instead?) were bred by nature to fight one another until death. Also, if you are cockfighter and raise them, you have to treat them like children, you nurish them super well and exercise them and train them, it is a very very arduous job. And if a cock fights and it wins you might fight him again or just keep him as a breeder in a corral full of hens. Cocks like these are born to fight, you see they have a huge nail on the back of their feet and thats what they fight with. This nail is usually clipped and replaced by the sharpest MoFo blade you have ever seen, in the same shape of the roosters nail. the standard fighting time for each fight is half an hour, but fights can end in seconds or go on the whole half hour. If the roosters beak doesn’t touch the ground the fight keeps going and going until there is a draw. So you see a Palenque usually starts at 8 at night and it will last till 4 or 6 in the am depending on the amount of partidos there are. Also outside the cockfighting ring there is food, and amusement, sort of like a fair, there are even mariachi songs written to these cockfights. They just banned them in Louisiana and Texas (i think), but cockfighting in the US was legal in some states at some point.

  8. Duran    Tue Jan 8, 03:15 PM #  

    mapache you’re an idiot for referring to cockfighting as fun. It would be fun to see you in a fight to the death with someone else. Yes, very fun.

  9. alesh    Tue Jan 8, 04:43 PM #  

    Don’t get me wrong, I think cockfighting is fucking ridiculous, too. Heck, I think keeping birds as pets is ridiculous. But consider three things which may be irrelevant by themselves, but I think taken together might sway some of you:

    1) Human beings are violent, especially against other species. Bullfighting is pretty violent and it goes on to this day, cockfighting and similar practices existed in the US until very recently (in the historical sense), not to mention what goes on in agriculture practices to this day (and I’m not just talking slaughterhouses).

    2) The sliding scale of animal intelligence. Nobody worries about whether the insects we fumigate to death suffer. On the other hand, dog fighting is almost universally abhorred. Where do roosters fall on this continuum? I don’t know, but it’s pretty clear that they’re several rungs down from dogs in intelligence, and, some would argue, the ability to perceive pain. (But and don’t get my started on what they do to pigs being raised for meat.)

    3) So, you still believe that it’s wrong to fight cocks. Fine. The point is that lots of perfectly reasonable people all over the world disagree. YOU would most probably have disagreed if you were raised in another time or another part of the world. All that being the case, and considering that even if our policing efforts were 100% successful you’d only wipe out some tiny insignificant percentage of animal abuse, and divert police resources from, you know, ACTUAL organized crime, and lock up some otherwise very nice old gentlemen…. is this really TRULY a reasonable use of police resources? I hate to get all cultural-relativismistic on you, but are you REALLY REALLY sure this is something worth condemning?

    So, if forcing animals to fight each other for amusement is wrong, wouldn’t causing suffering to animals be wrong, too? What about discomfort? See dog tracks, the fucking circus (in town!), your aquarium, and let’s not keep beating the agriculture thing.

    Any takers?

  10. I was there    Tue Jan 8, 05:10 PM #  

    I was friendly with a group of Puerto Ricans living in Miami in the mid 80s. They would paint furniture in the daytime and keep the fighting roosters in a coop behind the paint shop in Little Haiti. I went to a place in Western Broward and was really scared and amazed that such illegal and foreign activity took place right under everyone’s nose.

    My favorite rememberance is was when my friend (over the course of a year) gave a baby rooster to his daughter to play with, he eventually trained it to fight and then it ended up in a pot of soup (which he fed to his daughter) after the roosters career had ended.

    Life is suffering.

  11. mapache    Tue Jan 8, 07:11 PM #  

    Duran: If you learn to read, I never said that cockfighting is fun, i said that “the whole thing is really fun” meaning the fair, the adrenaline of betting, the traditions involved, the music, the culture, as well as the cockfighting. I think you are the idiot for not thinking outside the box and embracing other peoples traditions and cultures just because of your belifs, which I respect, but you should learn to respect other peoples as well. I also mentioned that these type of roosters will fight each other to the death if they meet each other in a corral regardless of human presence. They are like japanese fighting fish. You should read more about everything before opening your mouth. Those roosters live a life of luxury compared to any other kind until the day of the fight. Like alesh said compare them to how the dogs and horses are mistreated in the races. Should the Miami dogtrack close and everyone involved be arrested? Besides, those dogs and horses the second they cant run anymore they kill them, they become worthless animals.That is ok with you Duran because you see it everyday, and its something you grew up with, well in almost every latin american country there are cockfights and people do bet and do embrace them and think its fun to go see them, its part of our culture and traditons, so calling me an idiot for enjoying a cultural tradition of another country is more of an idiocy on your part. The french treat their geese worse just to give you the delicious foi gras that you might or might not have treated your girl or guy one day to.
    Key words here are: Cultural traditions.

  12. Duran    Tue Jan 8, 08:59 PM #  

    I don’t condone any form of animal mistreatment mapache from cockfighting, bullfighting, the circus or whatever else you want to throw at me. I don’t even eat veal or foie gras for obvious reasons. And if you knew ANYTHING about roosters, they will always fight each other hence why its one rooster per hen house, but of course if you put them in a close structure they are going to kill each other. Roosters are naturally aggressive.

    Cultural traditions or not, rules are fucking rules and cockfighting is a banned sport in the state. I hope they get punished as harshly as the law allows.

    And yes mapache, you are still an idiot for insinuating any situation where animals fight to the death is fun.

  13. mapache    Tue Jan 8, 09:32 PM #  

    Again Duran key words:
    Cultural traditons.
    Learn to read. Latin america, not florida you moron, and yes I enjoyed the cockfight immensly watching and betting and the fair and the music and everything involved with it.
    if you have EVER travelled which by your attitude i sincerely doubt, you would understand about cultural traditions and respect for them,I never said I enjoyed it here in the US cause its ilegal, I said Mexico, which is another country for your information and in Sapin I also enjoyed the whole bullfighting thing, again its cultural. Local cultures and traditions.
    Cockfighting in LATINAMERICA is a tradition that dates back centuries, they mention cockfighting in songs, in paintings, they have poems about it, so read more and learn. Think ouside the box.
    If you dont eat meat thats your choice, and i would respect if I didn’t think that you are just another one of those hypocrites that doesn’t eat veal or foi gras (prob cause u can’t afford it BTW) but still go to Mcdonalds for a burger and have ribs on your sunday BBQ’s, drink milk and enjoy scrambled eggs and still have the guts to call yourself a saviour of the veal and goose population. Or even worse a veggan. Anyway moron people like yourself are so hard headed that i bet none of this is getting through to you, so end of discussion.

  14. Ms Calabaza    Wed Jan 9, 06:53 AM #  

    Am I the only female here that’s going to side with the cocks?

  15. I was there    Wed Jan 9, 06:58 AM #  

    Mapache and Duran are the Roosters of this thread.

    Just because it is Cultural Traditional does not make it right.

    People watching animals suffer and gaining enjoyment from this suffering is a most unenlightened activity.

    The Mayans had a Cultural Traditionl of Human Sacrifice, using Mapache’s logic this could be brought back and respected as a Cultural Tradition.

    Live is already difficult enough, watching animals inflict pain and death upon each other while gambling away your weekly wages in a drunken tequila and beer blur is not the kind of rich Cultural tradition I want to expose my children.

    Life continues to be suffering.

  16. they still call me a negro    Wed Jan 9, 07:07 AM #  

    Hey, Duran may be a hypocrite but at least he’s not a racist.

  17. Duran    Wed Jan 9, 10:20 AM #  

    how exactly am I a hypocrite? please explain, i’d love to hear this.

  18. mapache    Wed Jan 9, 10:22 AM #  

    I was there, It doesn’t make it right to you and to your world, but what I am trying to tell you is that in their world it is. Why are you comparing cockfighting with human sacrifice??? I really don’t get it. Traditions end and change with time, Mayan traditions died with them, and the human sacrifices they had were to peace their Gods and in their minds it was an honour to be sacrificed, before the sacrifice there was a game and belive it or not the winner of this game was the one that got sacrificed, that is how much an honour that was. If you are basing this “traditions” in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, please don’t cause its a piece of shit movie. The traditions to hurt animals will die for sure eventually, there is no doubt in my mind.
    Again I say to you read what i said properly: “I enjoyed the whole thing, the fair, the music, the culture, everything”.

  19. I was there    Wed Jan 9, 11:23 AM #  

    mapache states: “I enjoyed the whole thing, the fair, the music, the culture, everything”

    Your statement confirms that you enjoy bloodsports.

    That is a sad confirmation.

    also for the record I’ve never seen Apocalypto and I’m sorry if you did.

    This conversation continues to suffer.

  20. thomas lackner    Wed Jan 9, 11:35 AM #  

    Roosters are kind of annoying with all their noises anyway. Let’s make them into hats.. after we bet on their deaths.

  21. mapache    Wed Jan 9, 12:00 PM #  

    IWT: Well, I am really sorry that you feel that way. I will not deny my enjoyment of cockfights and learning of new cultural traditions when i travel, as bloody or as weird as they may seem to other people. I do agree with you, my eyes were extremely sore and my mind really bored after watching all the stupid ass mistakes in that Apocalypto fiasco.
    Now as I bid this conversation adieu, I am going to walk to Pollo Tropical and have some nice chicken for lunch.

  22. I was there    Wed Jan 9, 12:51 PM #  

    buen provecho

  23. Carlos Miller    Wed Jan 9, 01:38 PM #  

    Speaking of roosters, check out the famous Mr. Clucky in a video I produced and posted yesterday on Youtube criticizing Wackenhut CEO Gary Sanders.

    He resigned hours later.

    This is breaking news.

  24. NicFitKid    Wed Jan 9, 04:40 PM #  

    Hey, at least the cocks get a stab at victory and possible retirement as studs. That crate bound, factory processed chicken you ate last night? Doomed from birth.

  25. Anonymous    Thu Jan 10, 01:36 AM #  

    I was just a couple of blocks away from there the other day. I had to drop my kids nanny off and she lives near Krome and 136th. I asked her if there were cock fights in the area and she told me, yeah my husband goes to them occasionally.

  26. Henry Gomez    Thu Jan 10, 01:46 AM #  

    As an owner of a retired racing greyhound that I obtained through greyhound rescue group I can tell you that the major problem with greyhound racing is not abuse (though there have certainly been some cases) and it’s not the racing itself. It’s not even the conditions the dogs live in. The problem is the sheer number of healthy animals that are destroyed because they no longer earn their owners any money. Greyhounds have bred to run for literally thousands of years. My dog will suddenly start running laps in the backyard to get his nervous energy out.

    Many of the unadopted greyhounds are put down humanely but many are shipped to places where they are simply shot and buried in giant mass graves.

    BTW if anyone wants a dog, go http://friendsofgreyhounds.com. The best dogs I’ve ever had have been my two greys.

  27. Elvin Girona    Mon Jan 21, 01:28 AM #  

    It all comes down to culture. Seeing that the u.s. is similating and bringing all the cultures together, cockfighting is one of those cultures being brought to the forefront. Its inevitable, I live in illinois and wish i lived in any of the southern states to attend cockfights on any given weekend.