The US State Department issued a travel advisory for Mexico’s resort-packed Caribbean coast on Monday after taxi drivers began harassing and assaulting drivers from the Uber app and their customers.
Taxi drivers blocked one of the main roads leading to the hotel district in the resort of Cancun on Monday.
The blocked road forced some tourists to walk, or take rides in police trucks, to get off their flights.
The State Department advised travelers that “past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to American citizens in some cases.”
The Cancun police department shared photos of travelers getting into the beds of police trucks and said: “Given the blockades on Kukulcan Boulevard, our transit officers helped people get to the airport.”
Cancun’s mayor called on taxi drivers, angered by competition from Uber drivers, to show restraint.
“I will not allow a small group to damage the resort’s reputation and human safety,” Mayor Ana Patricia Peralta said in a recorded message.
Over the past two days, videos have flooded social media showing tourists being scolded and, in one case, apparently manhandled by groups of uniformed taxi drivers.
“It’s illegal, illegal,” a taxi can be heard shouting at a family, apparently tourists.
Ride-hailing apps were blocked in Cancun until earlier this month, when a court granted an injunction allowing Uber to operate.
Given the high cost of local medallion taxis in Cancun, many travelers prefer to use apps.
Some Cancun residents also posted videos or photos of taxis surrounding the suspected cars with hail. A man said he was just traveling with some people when his car was pelted with stones and hit by taxi drivers.
Actions to be taken according to the US Embassy and Consulate of Mexico:
- Review our recommendations for your destination in our Mexico Travel Advisory.
- In light of the widely publicized security incidents at popular tourist destinations, please remember that all destinations have some level of risk. Violent crime – such as murder, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.
- Monitor local media for updates.
- Call 911 in Mexico for immediate help.
Contact numbers for the US Embassy and Consulates of Mexico:
- From Mexico: 55 8526 2561
- From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
- Department of State – Consular Affairs: +1-888-407-4747 or +1-201-501-4444