Taxi drivers blocked streets of Colombia’s capital Bogota on Wednesday to protest taxi app Uber, which they consider to be illegal and unfair competition.
The taxi drivers concentrated their protest at various important points in Bogota including the Techo Stadium and the main bus terminal.
“Uber is a monster that is leaving us without work and is taking the profit to other countries,” one taxi driver told Caracol Radio.
Other Bogota taxi drivers complained that Uber cars are not restricted by the traffic congestion mitigation policy of the city, while 5,000 taxis are stopped by the traffic control measures every day.
The “turtle plan” of the protesters is to slowly make their way to the Ministry of Information Technology to stage a demonstration.
The police prepared a counter-operation because of fears that the angry taxi drivers would block the city’s main arteries.
“There are a few specialized groups distributed throughout the city,” Colonel Francisco Cordoba told Blu Radio, “and some contingency groups to deal with the possibility of blockades. There are 200 men,” to prevent the police official, adding that riot police were on stand-by.
This is not the first time Bogota taxi drivers have staged such a protest, they also took to the streets in July.
The union of taxi drivers is complaining that the government lied about getting rid of the transport app.
This kind of pressure on the Government and against Uber could be in vain. Vice-president German Vargas Lleras said earlier in October that in the first week of November, when the local elections on 25 October are out of the way, a decree to regulate Uber’s service will be ready.
This allegedly peaceful protest is in stark contrast to the vigilante groups which formed to take direct and aggressive action against individual Uber drivers.