16 arrested in Colombian taxi driver protest against Uber

March 15, 2016 6:01 am
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Thousands of taxi drivers gather in Bogota, on March 14, 2016 to protest against the Uber taxi-booking mobile service, leading to traffic congestion across the Colombian capital/AFP
Thousands of taxi drivers gather in Bogota, on March 14, 2016 to protest against the Uber taxi-booking mobile service, leading to traffic congestion across the Colombian capital/AFP

, BOGOTA, Mar 15 – Sixteen people have been arrested during a major demonstration by Bogota taxi drivers against ride-sharing app Uber, authorities said.

Thousands of taxi drivers, shouting slogans such as “Uber out” and “Down with piracy” brought traffic to a near standstill in the congested Colombian capital.

Authorities arrested 16 people and issued 189 fines. Four police officers were injured.

Overview
  • Last week, the authority overseeing public transportation in Colombia fined Uber 450 million pesos (about Sh14mn) for providing "unauthorized" transportation services.
  • Colombia is a major Latin American market for Uber.

“This protest wouldn’t have happened if the government wasn’t so permissive and had forced Uber out of the country,” said Freddy Contreras, a spokesman for the taxi drivers.

As in other major cities in the world, cabbies in Bogota are opposed to Uber, the California-based company that operates in 59 countries and is valued at more than $50 billion.

Last week, the authority overseeing public transportation in Colombia fined Uber 450 million pesos (about Sh14mn) for providing “unauthorized” transportation services.

Colombia is a major Latin American market for Uber.

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