Forget Narcos, Mexico’s National Guard Has A New Target: Uber
In recent weeks, Mexican taxi drivers have blocked access to Uber drivers at some of the country’s busiest airports. Cab drivers are furious with Uber and other ride-hailing app companies for disrupting the taxi industry, leading to declining passenger volumes in the last several years.
Thousands of taxi drivers blocked traffic by parking their cars along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City, Monday, October 7, to protest against the private taxi company Uber and others apps for alleged unfair competition. (AFP, AP) pic.twitter.com/kRC8LRTFhW
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) October 7, 2019
As a result of the turmoil, the federal government has responded with support for the taxi industry by offering to deploy National Guard troops at major airports across the country to crack down, specifically, on Uber drivers.
Bloomberg cites a federal government press release, which describes a recent meeting held by the Ministry of the Interior and the National Taxi Movement (MNT), to create a new regulatory framework around ride-hailing apps.
The release also states how government troops will be deployed at 56 major airports to make sure only federally permitted taxis are picking up passengers at loading areas.
“It was also agreed that the Ministry of the Interior will coordinate requesting from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) and the National Guard (GN) or equivalent, actions in federal areas to carry out revision operations in the 56 airports of the country and areas of federal jurisdiction,” the press release read.
The Uber crackdown comes at a time when the country’s economy is teetering on the edge of a recession.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) promised an economic revival through a populist and nationalist agenda when he won the presidential election last year. But one year later, since AMLO won, the economy completely reversed and is now headed for a technical recession.
AMLO, desperate to please voters, appears to be shifting some National Guard troops, ones who were deployed on drug enforcement operations, to now protect the taxi industry from Uber picking people up at major airports. Sounds ridiculous, right?
Social media had a field day with AMLO, and there was immediate backlash on Twitter when this news broke on Wednesday:
So, the National Guard in Mexico is going after UBER instead of the Narco…
— ★ Salier Cienfuegos ★ 🔞 (@AbigailSalier) October 30, 2019
More than 90% of crimes in Mexico go unresolved. Homicides are at a record high.
The government wants to send the National Guard to stop Uber picking people up at airports.
Best use of security resources? https://t.co/Xs7ht7BqIU
— Chrissie Murray (@chrissiemurray) October 30, 2019
Instead of fighting crime. Mexico will use its recently created police force “Guardia Nacional” to enforce a new ban on ridesharing platforms in all airports. @verge @Gizmodo @GizmodoES @Uber forcing passengers to an abusive and mafia-style controlled “authorized taxi” service https://t.co/7hlPSdyvRx
— Eduardo VK (@EduarVK) October 30, 2019
— Siua Sekona (@Siua_Sekona) October 30, 2019
— Roger Noriega (@rogernoriegaUSA) October 30, 2019
Thu, 10/31/2019 – 23:45