Two taxi drivers have been arrested in the Mexican city of Cancun for assaulting a van carrying foreign tourists, prosecutors said Friday.
The events in the Caribbean coast resort on Thursday were the latest in a months-long string of assaults on vehicles that medallion-cab drivers suspect of being operated by ride-hailing apps such as Uber.
Prosecutors in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said such behavior will not be tolerated.
“Strong action will be taken to ensure that the state is a safe destination for local inhabitants and visitors,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Local residents posted video on social media showing at least two uniformed cab drivers bashing a Chevy Suburban with poles and other objects.
The van driver attempts to escape with the vehicle’s tailgate open, according to the footage, and the tourists’ luggage spills into the street. Three women can later be seen retrieving their luggage from the street.
“What are you doing?” cries one woman in English as belligerent cabbies mill around the scene, carrying what looked like improvised cudgels. “That is not okay.”
A local business owner who filmed the incident invited the women to take refuge in her store. The video shows the taxi drivers chasing the driver of the Suburban down the street until he reached a police officer.
The state prosecutors’ office said two taxi drivers were charged with robbery, and causing damage and injuries.
Local media reported the Suburban was not run through a ride-hailing app but by a local, non-medallion limousine service. Past incidents of taxi drivers attacking private vehicles in Cancun were based on the mistaken assumption they were Uber cars.
Cancun residents organized a boycott of medallion taxis in January following a week of blockades and violent incidents by drivers protesting the ride-hailing app Uber.
Road blockades, stone throwing and cabbies physically getting in the way had prevented tourists from boarding Uber vehicles. The U.S. issued a travel advisory warning that “past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances.”
Ride-hailing apps were blocked in Cancun until January, when a court granted an injunction allowing Uber to operate.