State Department issues travel warning for Cancun after taxi drivers attack Uber drivers and passengers

State Department issues travel warning for Cancun after taxi drivers attack Uber drivers and passengers

The US State Department has issued a travel warning for tourist cities along the way Caribbean coast of Mexico amid clashes between disgruntled taxi drivers and Uber ride-share customers and drivers.

The warning comes after medallion taxi drivers in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, home to Cancun and other popular tourist areas in the Yucatán Peninsula, harass and attack drivers and passengers in Uber vehicles over frustrations over the competition the ride-share service provides. . .

Taxi drivers even blocked one of the main roads into the hotel district in the resort town of Cancun on Monday. That forced some tourists to walk or ride in police pickups to the airport.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised travellers that “past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some cases.”

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Taxi drivers pass a sign that reads:

Taxi drivers walk past a sign that reads, “We fight for the rights of the taxi drivers,” during a protest against the regulation of taxi apps like Uber in Cancun, Mexico, on January 11, 2023.
(Reuters/Paola Chiomante)

Social media sites have been filled with videos over the past two days of tourists being verbally abused – and in one case apparently assaulted – by groups of several uniformed taxi drivers.

The Cancun Police Department shared photos of travelers getting into the back of police trucks, saying that “given the blockades on Kukulcan boulevard, our transit agents were helping people get to the airport.”

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Taxi drivers protest on January 11, 2023 in Cancun, Mexico against the regulation of taxi apps such as Uber.

Taxi drivers protest on January 11, 2023 in Cancun, Mexico against the regulation of taxi apps such as Uber.
(Reuters/Paola Chiomante)

The mayor of Cancún has called on taxi drivers to exercise restraint.

“I will not allow a small group to harm the resort’s reputation and human safety,” Mayor Ana Patricia Peralta said in a recorded message.

The Taxi Union, which represents about 12,000 members in Cancún, was outraged by a January 11 court ruling that allows Uber to operate without a public transportation license required for taxis. Mexico News Daily reported.

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beach of Cancun

An Uber spokesperson told Fox News Digital that this travel warning is specific to Cancún and that the State Department has repeatedly referred to Uber as a safe alternative in the country.

“Uber is strongly committed to safety around the world, and we have teams in the US and Mexico dedicated to cooperating with law enforcement and providing 24/7 support through the Uber app for riders and drivers,” the spokesperson said. .

The security alert comes after the State Department issued travel advisories in dozens of Mexican states over crime concerns, including “Do Not Travel” advisories to the states of Zacatecas, Guerrero, Colima and others.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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