The US State Department has issued a travel warning to tourist paradise towns along The Caribbean coast of Mexico amid clashes between disgruntled taxi drivers and customers and Uber rideshare drivers.
The warning comes after medallion taxi drivers in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun and other popular tourist areas on the Yucatán Peninsula, harassed and attacked drivers and passengers in Uber vehicles in because of frustrations with the competition that the ridesharing service provides. .
Taxi drivers even blocked one of the main roads leading to the hotel district of the Cancun resort on Monday. This forced some tourists to walk or ride in police vans to the airport.
The State Department informed travelers that “past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have at times turned violent, resulting in injury to U.S. citizens in some cases.”
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Social media sites have been full over the past two days with videos showing tourists being berated – and in one case, apparently manhandled – by groups of several uniformed taxi drivers.
The Cancun Police Department shared photos of travelers getting into the beds of police trucks and said “given the blockages on Kukulcan Boulevard, our transit officers helped people get to the airport” .
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The mayor of Cancún called on taxi drivers to exercise restraint.
“I will not allow a small group to harm the reputation of the station and human safety,” Mayor Ana Patricia Peralta said in a recorded message.
The taxi union, which represents about 12,000 members in Cancun, has been infuriated by a January 11 court ruling that allows Uber to operate without a public transport license required for taxis, Mexico News Daily reported.
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An Uber spokesperson told Fox News Digital that this travel warning is specific to Cancun and that the State Department has repeatedly referred to Uber as a safe alternative in the country.
“Uber is deeply committed to safety around the world, and we have teams in the United States and Mexico dedicated to working with law enforcement and providing 24/7 assistance through the Uber app to passengers and drivers,” the spokesperson said.
The safety warning comes after the State Department issued travel advisories to dozens of Mexican states due to crime concerns, including ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to the states of Zacatecas, Guerrero, Colima and others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.