Damned Roosters

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BEACON

You didn’t have to take more than one glance at Orlando de la Rosa to know how bad he had lost. Orlando de la Rosa leaned in on the rim of the arena and his black cowboy hat dipped down slightly. His shirt was still tucked deep into his jeans, his black boots dusty. But his moustache could not hide a tight and pensive expression on his face. The animal – his animal – was limp, laying on the ground, and covered in blood. His rooster was dying.

Cockfighting is a serious pastime for folks on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. So I persuaded my friend and guide Benedicto to take me to a match late one Friday night to see what it was all about. This is a personal essay on cockfighting in Colombia, peace and conflict, and what it means to be victorious – or not. Continue reading on Beacon…