Twitter/ @chicoelmalo

The surprise appearance of male strippers at a public event to celebrate International Women's Day on Sunday has scandalized Colombians and put a small town mayor in the hot seat.

Two strippers strutted their stuff at a women's day celebration in the mountain town of Anzoategui [population 17,000] on Sunday, sending shrieks and gasps through a crowd of women and children who had come to the pueblo's main square to watch a folkloric musical performance and other tributes to women's rights.

The striptease was picked up by national media after Anzoategui's human rights ombudsman filed a complaint against the mayor.

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"Men in underpants danced on stage in front of lots of kids," the rights watchdog wrote in his report. "The party, which cost $7,000, was paid for with local governments funds, in a poor municipality that has lots of social needs."

Mayor Alfredo Garcia apologized for the incident and said the whole thing was a misunderstanding. He told El Tiempo that he hired the singers and mariachis that also performed in the women's day party but didn't realize that "muscular men would dance in their underpants."

"There was some confusion," Garcia said in a separate interview with with local radio station RCN. "We hired a folk singer, but we did not know that the [event organizers] would include, as a bonus, two male models that would perform suggestive moves."

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The mayor said he stopped the party 10 minutes into the striptease, and moved the show to a private venue.

On Twitter, Colombians blasted the mayor and his party, comparing the event to last January's "Miss Tanguita" (Little Miss Thong) beauty pageant, where six-year-old girls paraded in bikinis.

Others just laughed at the absurdity of it all and shared pictures of the dancers, dressed as a cowboy and a cop.

A group of mothers told the daily El Tiempo that they were not happy with the women's day gift.

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"This party was a disgrace," the women said. "They should've hired educational talks for the family, instead of bringing us naked men."

Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.