Colombia's traditional bullfight festival known as Las Corralejas left 19 people hurt, one of them seriously, in Turbaco, a village near the Caribbean city of Cartagena.

The most serious injury was to an inebriated young man who tried to fight a half-ton brown bull.

The charging animal gored him in the left side of the chest, though he managed to walk out of the bullring as people ran to find help for him or looked on as he bled profusely.

The incident shocked the crowd into a silence that was, however, immediately interrupted by a band of trumpets, clarinets and drums blaring out a popular tune.

But the festival got going again in earnest when another bull burst into the bullring and thanks to the aguardiente liquor flowing in the stands.

"When a bull unfortunately gores a person, people start yelling out of sheer excitement," Argemiro Rodelo, a fan of these festivals, told Efe.

"For the festival to be any good, some people have to get hurt," he said, establishing the way the quality of these festivals is to be rated, in which hundreds of usually intoxicated spectators jump into the bullring to take on the bulls.

Animal welfare advocates periodically demand laws banning bullfights, cockfights and all other types of animal abuse, without much to show for their efforts as yet. EFE