Mexico arrests 2 taxi drivers who beat, kicked German tourists at a club in Playa del Carmen

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Mexico said Thursday they have arrested two taxi drivers who participated in the beating of two German tourists outside a club in the Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen.

Prosecutors in coastal state of Quintana Roo said the two drivers were arrested on charges of drug possession, after they were found to be carrying marijuana and cocaine in their taxis. The cab drivers were not immediately charged in relation to the beating last week.

34 POLICE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN 3 YEARS IN THIS DANGEROUS MEXICAN CITY, DATA SHOWS

A video of the attack was posted on social media, showing a group of about a half dozen men in the white-shirt, dark-pants uniforms worn by local cab drivers beating and kicking a couple who are on the ground.

The woman can be seen trying to protect the man from the rain of blows by covering him with her body as both lie on the street. But the cabbies continued to beat the couple with what appeared to be boards or signs, and kicked the man.

Authorities offered no further information on the tourists, or whether they were injured in the night-time attack. But they did say the permits for the two suspects’ taxicabs would be cancelled.

 Mexicos taxi industry has been plagued by violence in resort communities. (Fox News)

It is not the first time that cab drivers in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, to the north, have been involved in attacks.

In 2023, there were a number of violent confrontations between medallion taxi drivers and people working for ride-hailing apps. High taxi fares have long been a subject of debate in Cancun.

Nor is it the first time there have been links between taxi drivers and drugs in the area.

In January, authorities acknowledged that criminal gangs are trying to extort ‘protection’ payments from taxi drivers in Cancun. Five suspects were arrested for demanding about $12 per week from 200 unionized taxi drivers to allow them to work. In the past, such demands have usually been accompanied by threats to shoot drivers and burn taxis that fail to pay.

The five men were arrested aboard two taxis, and were found with marijuana and meth in their possession. They have been ordered held pending trial on extortion charges.

Violence in the area’s resorts have sometime affected tourists.

In February, prosecutors said an American woman and a man from Belize were shot to death in what appears to have been a dispute between drug dealers at a beach club in the resort city of Tulum, south of Playa del Carmen.

Prosecutors stressed the American woman had no connection to an alleged drug dealer also killed in the shooting Friday night. The woman appeared to have simply been caught in the crossfire.

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Foreign tourists have been killed in the past after getting caught in drug gang shootouts in the once-tranquil beach resort.

In 2021 in Tulum, two tourists — one German and a California travel blogger born in India — were killed while eating at a restaurant. They apparently were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.

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