Mexico cabbies protest Uber, interrupt city activity

Taxis seen parked side-by-side along Paseo de la Reforma. (AFP pic)

MEXICO CITY: Mexico City taxi drivers blocked major avenues and access to the capital’s international airport on Monday to protest against digital platforms like Uber Technologies, Didi Chuxing and Cabify.

The capital’s airport warned passengers via twitter to take extra precautions as protesters stopped traffic at both terminals.

Some cab drivers have even set up camp inside the airport, and traffic was at a standstill for miles leading up to the terminal access, according to footage from local media.

Hundreds of cabbies parked side-by-side along Paseo de la Reforma, shutting down the main boulevard in the city’s business centre.

Parts of Mexico’s capital were paralysed since 5am as 4,000 cabbies in 800 white-and-pink vehicles took to the streets, according to a count by organisers, who said they won’t leave until the government forbids online car services from operating.

Leaders of the protests contacted by Bloomberg said they’re meeting with federal government officials Monday and would decide in the next couple of hours whether they’d retreat or remain overnight in the streets and airport.

While not the first rally against ride hailing apps in Mexico City, it’s been the most disruptive, and follows a slew of marches in the capital for various causes that have left monuments and storefronts vandalised over the past couple of months.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has criticised recent protests and Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has deployed government workers to form human chains to reduce the destruction, while stopping short from using the security forces to curb vandalism.