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Dwarf Bull Fighters In Latin America Challenge Perceptions (PHOTOS)

Dwarf Bull Fighter

First Posted: 02/20/2012 3:57 pm Updated: 02/20/2012 4:03 pm

As the saying goes: It's not the size of the man in the bullfight, but rather, the size of the bullfight in the man.

Something like that.

Popular in many parts of Latin America, dwarf bullfights pit small people against calves, rather than the fully-grown beasts, according to a USA Today story. Metro reports that snaring a job in one of the troupes is highly competitive, and that along with bullfights, most groups also put on variety shows. But the fights aren't just about entertainment, one fighter claims.

"If a little person can fight a bull, he can do anything," Javier Landa, a performer, told USA Today. "That's what we're trying to prove."

It's also a steady stream of income; according to The Daily Mail, a bullfighter can earn up to $100 per show.

Dwarfs often deal with difficulty finding work and discrimination, Reuters notes, and the struggle has gone on for hundreds of years. Metro reports that a book chronicling the work of dwarfs is set for release later in 2012.

"Here, little people don't have the kind of support that you have (in the USA)," bullfighter Jorge Reyes told USA Today. "Here, a little person really has to work."

Below, see photos from a recent bullfight in Colombia.

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  • Colombian dwarf actors get dressed before their performance for a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. The troupe of dwarves and clowns perform as bullfighters at fairs and patron-saint festivals throughout Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actor Jaime Henao, left, gets ready before the start the start of a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actor Jaime Henao, right, has a quiet moment before a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actors dress before their performance in a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actors Franklin Moreano, left, and Pastora Basto get dressed before their performance in a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actors Franklin Mareano, left, and Gustavo Murillo wait for the start of their performance in a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian dwarf actors and clowns acknowledge the audience before the start of their performance in a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian actor Franklin Mareano performs at a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian actor Pedro Sanchez performs in a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian actor Jaime Heneao performs at a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian actor Franklin Mareano performs at a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

  • Colombian actor Franklin Mareano performs at a bullfight show at La Macarena bullring in Medellin, Colombia, on Feb. 19. (Getty)

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Filed by Ryan Craggs  |