Anti-Uber Protests In Mexico City Have Erupted Into Violent Riots

An angry mob reportedly used rocks, clubs, eggs and flour to attack Uber drivers and destroy their cars near an airport in Mexico City on Tuesday.

Around the same time, licensed taxi drivers were calling for a ban on ride-sharing services and setting off firecrackers in the capital.

According to The Guardian, however, the Organised Taxi Drivers of Mexico City called the attack "regrettable," and a spokesperson for the union claimed to have "nothing to do with it."

The union said the attackers were local residents who were protesting Uber drivers parking in their neighborhood to pick up customers at the airport.

Uber spokeswoman Rocio Paniagua told Televisa News Uber drivers are not allowed to park at the airport, so they park on nearby streets to meet their customers instead.

Allegedly, about 10 to 12 cars at the airport sustained damages such as broken windows, mirrors and kicked-in doors, and numerous Uber drivers were covered in flour.

In response to the riot, a spokesperson for Uber told Televisa News,

What happened is a very grave attack on everyone's freedom and right to make a living in a dignified manner. Incidents like this are completely unacceptable and we trust that authorities will act so that justice is done.

Mexico City issued guidelines intended to curb the dominance of ride-sharing apps earlier this month, but it appears, much like Paris taxi drivers, Mexico City taxi drivers believe drivers for Uber and similar services still possess unfair advantages in the industry.

A union official for the Organised Taxi Drivers of Mexico City, Ignacio Rodriguez, said,

These transnational applications are infiltrating different countries as an economic parasite, endangering the livelihood of thousands of taxi drivers and their families and devouring the market for the legally established service.

Mexico City's ride service rules state such companies must put 1.5 percent of their fares toward a fund dedicated to making transportation better, and drivers cannot accept cash from customers.

Additionally, drivers must undergo inspections once a year.

A poll revealed Uber to be a favorable service for 80 percent of Mexico City residents while only 12 percent support a ban on the ride-sharing services.

The Guardian reports Uber's popularity in Mexico City is largely due to its convenience, cheap fares and safety.

Here is video from Tuesday's attack.

Guardian Wires on YouTube

Citations: Uber drivers attacked outside Mexico City airport as taxi drivers demonstrate (The Guardian)