Chaos has erupted in chaos ahead of spring break at one of the world’s most popular resort destinations. Cab drivers in Cancún, Mexico, are revolting against Uber, harassing and attacking drivers, prompting the US State Department to issue a travel advisory due to violence.
Cancún cab drivers revolt against competing uber drivers
Spring break has turned into spring break out, as local cab drivers in Cancún are blocking roads and harassing or even attacking what they view as their competing foes.
The timing couldn’t be worse for the millions of Americans who are preparing to descend upon one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations ahead of the spring break season.
New court ruling allows Uber to operate and sets off revolt
When Uber was first introduced in Mexico in 2016, the service was essentially driven out by local taxi drivers. However, last January, the ridesharing app and its services were reintroduced after a court ruling.
Immediately after the ruling, cabbies blocked the main road leading to Cancún’s hotel district, which forced tourists to walk for miles or find rides from drivers on the other side of the blockade, Yahoo reported.
Police escorts were called in to help safely shuttle people to the airport to catch their flights, KTVU reported.
“Given the blockades on the Kukulcan boulevard, our transit officers helped people get to the airport,” Cancún police said in a statement, sharing photos of travelers getting into the bed of police trucks.
Taxi feud escalates
While lawmakers have allowed Uber’s services to resume, the tensions among local taxi drivers have not diminished. In recent weeks, clashes between local taxi operators have turned aggressive and violent, with attacks not only on competing drivers but their vehicles and sometimes passengers as well.
On social media, some travelers have called for people to “boycott” Cancún’s local taxi services to frustrate their efforts in retaliating against Uber drivers.
US State Department issues travel advisory for Mexico’s Caribbean coast amid cabbie chaos
Amid the competition-fueled battle between medallion taxi drivers and Uber drivers in Cancún, the US State Department issued a travel advisory for Mexico’s resort-studded Caribbean coast, the Associated Press reported.
The State Department wants travelers to know the dispute is nothing to take likely, stating that “past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances.”
In addition to the warnings over disputes between taxi unions and ride-sharing services, the US Embassy & Consulates in Mexico also warned tourists: “Please remember that all destinations have some level of risk. Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a low profile. Call 911 in Mexico for immediate assistance.”