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Residents demand that brothels be removed from their northwest neighborhood

Residents of the Cayambe barrio in northwest Cuenca are demanding that the city relocate the neighborhood brothels.

The “red light” district in northwest Cuenca. (El Tiempo)

“We have insisted for years that the municipality move the prostitution trade and nothing has happened,” Abel Buestán, chairman of the Relocate the Brothels committee said Thursday at a press conference. “We are tired of the crime, tired of the noise and tired of the litter.”

Cayambe is only blocks from the rapidly developing Gran Colombia and Ordoñez Lasso corridor and Buestán says crime is already spilling into nearby upscale neighborhoods.

The committee is demanding that the city respond within 72 hours with a plan to relocate the brothels and that Mayor Pedro Palacios meet personally with its members. In a press release, Relocate the Brothels says it will protest at the mayor’s office Friday, February 14, if it does not receive a response.

Buestán suggests that all the city’s legal brothels be consolidated in the Av. España and Huayna Capac area. “The blocks near the bus terminal on España is the logical location for the girls to work since there are so many of them there already,” he said.

In addition to Cayambe, the nearby barrios of El Cebollar, Alisos del Cebollar, Tandacatu, Víctor Gerardo Aguilar, Convention of 45, Loma de Cullca and Las Penca are also asking that brothels be relocated. “This affects many people and many families and we deserve to have our streets back,” Buestán said.