CARTAGENA, Colombia — Organizers of the 2017 LALExpo on Tuesday reiterated that the adult business conference will go on as planned.
Earlier this month, the mayor of Cartagena sought a ban on the upcoming show slated for July 10-12, citing that its presence could signal a stamp approval for sex tourism in the Colombian town.
But LALExpo organizers said today that their team of attorneys have reviewed all legal points made by the mayor, and his demands have been found unconstitutional.
Further, organizers said that the private management of Cartagena’s convention center have given its blessing to hold the three-day expo, also known as the Latin America Adult Business Expo.
“Preparations continue, and we firmly believe that this year LALExpo, in its fourth edition, will be the best event for all attendees,” LALExpo organizers said. “We’ll be expecting you.”
Organizers said that news of the mayor’s announcement to seek a ban on the convention has elevated mainstream media attention, with numerous outlets now wanting to attend the show and cover it.
“Thanks to his statements against the event, most of the press has been positive for LALExpo,” organizers said. “The most important national media of radio, press and TV [covered the news] — even international media such as CNN.”
LALExpo organizers, in a release, offered several passages from notable personalities and influencers that characterize the Cartagena’s mayor decision to seek a ban. Testimonials included:
- Porn actress Esperanza Gómez, who said: “The governor of Bolivar and the mayor of Cartagena violate the right to work, freedom of sex, freedom of expression. They must abolish child prostitution and fight corruption. I do not like politics. It's dirtier, more degenerate and corrupt than the same porn industry that carries that fame.”
- Álvaro Restrepo, director of the Colegio del Cuerpo de Cartagena, who said: “The mayor should rather worry about eradicating daily pornography and prostitution overflowing in the Plaza de los Coches, at the very doors of the mayor's office.”
- Alejandra Omaña, journalist and porn actress, who said: "This is a business event, where only serious companies dedicated to the industry for adults are involved. We talk about trends, how to regulate the problems they mistakenly believe we support — child pornography, abuse — and how to work together to give better guarantees to those who are part of the industry.”
- Salvo Basile, actor and film producer, who said: "Such events do not affect Cartagena at all. They are held in big cities of the world, so I do not understand why not here. "
- William Mattson, a city representative, who said: "The mayor has no legal powers to prohibit the realization of the Latin America Adult Business Expo 'because it would violate the right to privacy and free development of personality of its attendees and organizers."