LALExpo Cancels Upcoming Conference

LALExpo Cancels Upcoming Conference

CALI, Colombia — The forthcoming Latin America Adult Business Expo B2B conference and awards gala, originally set for June 12-15 in Barranquilla, Colombia, has been canceled as organizers were unable to secure the necessary permits to move forward.

Last month, LALExpo moved swiftly to transfer from its original venue, the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center in Bolívar, citing "constant attacks" from local groups and individuals objecting to LALExpo taking place in the city.

At the time, the mayor of Barranquilla welcomed the move. In recent days, however, the mayor's office denied LALExpo the necessary permits.

"With deep sadness and great disappointment, I address each one of us who are part of this great and misunderstood industry," a rep said. "You, more than anyone, know how much we have worked at LALExpo for the promotion, formalization and legalization of our industry.

"The Barranquilla Mayor's Office denied the necessary permits for the development of our expo," the rep continued. "We deeply regret and reject this decision which, as you will understand, forces us to officially cancel it. It is false, as has come out in some media, that we did not comply with the legal requirements to obtain the necessary approval for its realization. This is a political decision that ignores our rights, sets a very bad precedent, puts our right to work at risk and affects the dignity of thousands of people who daily derive their livelihood from this business."

The rep noted that the adult entertainment industry is legal and complies with Colombian regulations, and that "its rights have been recognized in several constitutional court rulings. With the measure taken by the Mayor's Office of Barranquilla, like that of Cartagena a few weeks ago, an obvious discrimination is being generated and fundamental rights that we as a society cannot ignore are being violated."

The rep called it "incredible" that the region's adult industry is expected to pay taxes but "we do not have the right to organize our annual expo. Together with the legal team, we are evaluating different measures aimed at protecting the industry."

The decision to relocate to Barranquilla was made, the rep explained, because "the mayor, from the first moment, offered all the necessary guarantees for the development of the event ... there was a public support for the Expo that we never imagined would be withdrawn. As you can imagine, the cancellation first in Cartagena, and now in Barranquilla, has a profound economic impact that we as organizers must assume."

Organizers invited industry members and supporters to protest via "social networks, the media and even on the street," to defend "the rights we have as an industry and show the need for the country and Colombian society to evolve and leave that double standard that is hurting us." They also vowed to "continue to work tirelessly for the industry, and its formalization, legality and recognition as an axis of economic development in our country."

Direct questions and concerns to info@lalexpo.com.

Visit LALExpo online and on Twitter.

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