Disputes between Uber drivers and taxi drivers are boiling over in Cancun, leading the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico to issue a new security alert this week for Quintana Roo, the state on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula that encompasses Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and other popular resort destinations.
The alert states: “In the wake of recent incidents involving taxi and Uber drivers in Quintana Roo, U.S. citizens are reminded of guidance provided on Travel.State.gov, specifically about the use of application-based transportation services in Mexico, which states: Application-based car services such as Uber and Cabify are available in many Mexican cities, and generally offer another safe alternative to taxis. Official complaints against Uber and other drivers do occur, however, and past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances.”
Uber has been in available in Cancun for several years, but its legal status has been murky until recently.
According to an article in the Cancun Sun, incidents between Uber drivers and taxi drivers heated up in early January after a court ruled that Uber was operating legally in the city. The result has been a string of high-profile assaults on Uber drivers and, in some cases, their passengers.
In an incident on Monday, protesting taxi drivers blocked one of the main roads between the airport and the Cancun hotel district, forcing travelers to walk or catch rides in police vehicles to get to their flights. According to a report in USA Today, “The Cancun police department shared photos of travelers getting into the bed of police trucks, and said, ‘Given the blockades on the Kukulcan Boulevard, our transit officers helped people get to the airport.’”
Meeting Professionals International will bring its World Education Conference to the Barcelo Maya Resort in June, which is on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, 47 miles down the coast from Cancun’s airport.