Blockades have been appearing in Puerto Escondido this week as taxi owners protest the creation of a new competitor in Santa María Colotepec.
Taxi concession holders and drivers used their vehicles to set up a blockade early Tuesday morning on the coastal highway at the airport after an earlier blockade took place outside the offices of Semovi, the state transportation ministry, on 10th Norte.
Alberto Baños, president of taxi comopany Sitio Puerto Escondido, said the protest is in response to the operation of a new fleet of 20 taxis, Sitio Bahía Principal, which the demonstrators claim started operations without a public transport service concession, which is granted by the municipal government.
“The drivers from Colotepec started just like that, with nothing, without permission, without license plates, without a concession, only with the payment of a feasibility study that was carried out in December 2022,” said Baños.
The disgruntled cab drivers questioned Colotepec authorities about the new company “but nobody knows anything, it is the strangest thing,” said Baños.
The protesters demanded that the authorities follow the letter of the law and stop the circulation of the new taxis.
They also requested the resignation of deputy transport minister Pedro Silva Salazar, whom they accuse of corruption and influence peddling.
The blockade was preceded by a series of confrontations between the Puerto Escondido and Bahía Principal companies.
On Monday, cab drivers from older companies reportedly retained three vehicles from the new company, which then were taken to a municipal impound lot.
In response, Sitio Bahía Principal cab drivers seized six units of Sitio Puerto Escondido’s on Calle del Morro in Zicatela.
The protesters have warned they might “intensify” their protests if they do not receive a favorable response to their demands, meaning that there could be more roadblocks on other main access roads into Puerto Escondido.
At least two airline flights – operated by Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobús – have landed since the roadblock was set up at 8:30 a.m. Passengers were greeted with a 350-meter walk once out of the terminal, as no transportation was available within the terminal area.