Things That Matter

Mexico City Taxis Came Full Force To Block Major Streets And Tourist Attractions To Get Ride Sharing Apps Banned

Taxi drivers came out in full force across Mexico City, blocking streets, tourist attractions, and major intersections. They’re protesting what they say is unfair competition from ride-sharing services like Uber, Cabify, and Didi.

They want the apps banned in Mexico.

Their bloqueos of some the city’s most important streets and attractions made news around the world.

Credit: @AFPMexico / Twitter

The taxistas started congregating in the zócalo (the city’s giant public plaza) around 6:30 am, while roadblocks started going up at 10:00 am all around the capital. and were expected to remain until noon. Drivers were even blocking major entry points to the city along highways from Pachuca, Toluca, and Cuernavaca.

Taxis were even suspending services in districts across the city.

The drivers complain that inconsistent regulation creates an uneven playing field for them to compete with ride-sharing, and want more robust regulation of their competitors. One of their biggest complaints is that taxis in Mexico City have to be painted a certain way – white and pink – which can cost up to MXN$2,500 (about $125 USD).

Several drivers said the ride-hailing apps have cost them 40% of their earnings.

According to some estimates, Mexico City is home to the world’s largest taxi fleet.

Credit: @fastpacific / Twitter

With that many cabs out there, it kinda makes sense how they were able to bring the city to a standstill with their demonstration.

Many across the capital were shocked by their tactics.

Credit: @pqblair / Twitter

Drivers would form giant groups of taxis and invade entire districts, intersections, plazas, and major tourist attractions. They succeeded at shocking residents and tourists alike while snarling traffic across the city of more than 20 million people.

At one point, taxi drivers enlisted the help of bus drivers to help block streets.

Credit: @lad_left / Twitter

Now imagine trying to get through the city’s narrow street or already traffic-chocked streets with gangs of taxis and giant buses…

Mexican Twitter was full of opinions on the taxi strike and taxi drivers themselves.

With the strike bringing much of the city to a standstill and the already negative attitudes towards taxistas in the city, many were not happy.

In an all too common sight in Mexico City, videos emerged of taxi gangs attacking Uber drivers.

These attacks on Uber drivers are nothing new. When the ride-sharing app first arrived in Mexico City, it was common for drivers arriving at the airport to be pelted with rocks.

And people are fed up.

Credit: @chromaticexplor / Twitter

Most people on Twitter had the same feelings and thoughts – either evolve with the industry or you’re going to go extinct.

Residents were quick to call out the taxi drivers on social media for the reasons why they’re losing to Uber.

Credit: guruchuier / Twitter

Basically saying that if drivers cleaned their cars, were friendly, and didn’t try to rob you with high fares, they wouldn’t have to worry about competition from Uber.

The memes out on Mexican Twitter in response to all of this were pretty amazing.

Credit: @lapnayh / Twitter

Translation: “It’s not you, it’s your bad service.”

And apparently, the taxi strike happened to fall on World Bike Day…

Credit: @BiciManager / Twitter

Leading many to suggest taking your commute into your own hands while helping the environment – ride a bike!

All of this had many dreaming of a Mexico City without taxis.

And the people were totally here for it.

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Things That Matter

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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