SPAIN - Fake news goes further than current news facts that are distorted. It is about inspiring stories and photos that will lead a life of their own. The penitent bullfighter is one of them. In the photo you can see a bull almost begging for its life, while the bullfighter is sitting aside, completely embarrassed.

In the caption you can read how, at this very moment, the bullfighter Álvaro Múnera regrets his wrongdoing and stops bullfighting on the spot to become an animal rights activist. But that is not true. The man in the photo is in fact the Spaniard Javier Sanchez Vara and he is still - and very much - a bullfighter.

Ann-Marie Cordia and Arkasha Keyers established this in Madrid, in part 1 of their research story. According to him, bullfighters are heroes. In the second part they spoke with the Colombian Álvaro Múnera, who was once a bullfighter, but only stopped when he was paralyzed during a bullfight. "I have seen many bulls cry," he says. "But I only regret it after they hurt me." No one ever asked them about the truth about the photo. It seems like nobody is interested in it. The underlying question of this story is: how much does the truth matter if you can share beautiful pictures that inspire?


Team members

Anne-Marie Cordia

Ann-Marie Cordia is a freelance journalist.

Arkasha Keysers

Arkasha Keysers is a Belgian journalist and an occasionally photographer. 

Arkasha Keysers
€ 1.380 allocated on 21/12/2017.



need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund.eu’s flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.