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Protest On Highway Between Cancun And Playa del Carmen Causing Massive Traffic Delays

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The transporters union which is made up mostly truck drivers from across the country staged a nationwide protest at the beginning of the week. The truckers’ union decided to literally park trucks in main avenues, and highways across the country. Causing massive traffic jams in multiple Mexican cities. The Cancun region was not exempt from this protest. In fact, it could be argued that this area was one of the most affected by the protest.

Trucks Around Cancun Roads

The protest began at 8am on Tuesday. As trucks started to show up at López Portillo, Bonampak, and boulevard Colosio. Three of the main roads in the area. Particularly in the part of the highway that marks the start of the road that leads from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. This is the only road that connects two of the main tourist towns in the area. The road is quite narrow to begin with. As trucks took up an entire lane this obviously resulted in massive traffic jams.

Cancun Roads

The Incident Caused An Extensive Number of Tourists To Miss Their Flights

Some tourists were heavily affected by the blockade. Although there were warnings that a blockade could be set up by the truckers’ union many people weren’t aware of it until it was too late. In the road that connects Cancun to Playa del Carmen people reported taking north of 2 hours to make the journey. Which typically only takes about an hour to complete. 

busy airport

Folks coming into Cancun from Puerto Morelos arguably had it worse. As they report taking north of 3 hours to make the journey. By that time the flights of those people heading to the airport were long gone. The Mexican association of travel agencies spoke out against the protest. While revealing that they have reports of over 600 tourists being negatively affected by it. The head of the organization mentioned,

Aerial view of Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Aerial view of Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico

“We know of a travel agency that had a programmed trip with about 600 tourists from the Riviera Maya region to the Cancun airport. They came across multiple difficulties to resolve the issue. Since the tourists just couldn’t afford to miss their flights.” 

Missed flights

Is The Cause For The Protest Justified?

For the most part, even people who have been affected by the protests end up agreeing that the cause is rather justified. There are actually multiple issues that the truckers union is looking to address with both local and federal authorities. At the local level in Cancun some truckers involved in the protest revealed their reasons for parking their trucks along some of the city’s main roads saying,

Trucks Parked By The Road

“They (the government) are demanding that our trucks be no older than 10 years old to be able to operate. However, the current financial situation is rather difficult. Many businesses don’t have enough credit to be able to finance new trucks. That’s the reason why we want to continue to run our business with older vehicles. It’s the only option that we have”

truck in tulum

Tourists Have To Account For Potential Blockades In Cancun Roads

On the national level there has been no deal reached between protestors, and Federal authorities. At the local level it seems that we’re seeing much of the same. In fact, the issue has to be resolved at the federal level. Since these age restrictions for example on trucks are in place nationally. Most of the time these trucks operate on federal roads even if they are just working regionally.

Road Construction

Although here in the Cancun area the initial blockade lasted just a couple of hours it is highly possible that blockades in other parts of the city will continue in the coming days. As of right now it doesn’t seem like a deal is close at hand. Therefore, it’s a good idea to leave for the Airport a couple more hours in advance. Especially if you’re coming from Playa del Carmen or other parts of the Riviera Maya that are further out.

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