La Paz, the beautiful up-and-coming destination north of Los Cabos, has recently seen a worrying increase in aggressive attacks on Uber and Didi drivers in the destination, leaving many travelers, as well as locals, concerned over the safety of using ride-hailing apps.
These incidents are naturally causing concern in Los Cabos as well, where anxiety over the possibility of these incidents spilling over into the safe city streets of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo adds to the already strained relationship travelers and locals have with ride-hailing apps thanks to conflicts with taxi drivers.
Drivers Under Fire
So far, the incidents recorded in December that have raised the alarm on this issue have not affected tourists directly.
However, that in no way lessens the seriousness of what is happening, with multiple drivers being held up by armed assailants intent on taking anything of value, including the vehicle.
Indirectly, it affects tourists’ access to safe transport. In La Paz, many drivers have already adjusted their work schedule so as not to offer their services during nighttime hours.
This period is when these ride-hailing services are most valuable to travelers in need of a convenient ride back to their resort.
Moreover, that is only the immediate effects being observed. No data is available yet on how this is impacting Los Cabos’ Uber and Didi drivers, but it’s assumed many drivers will be considering similar precautions.
A Threat To Wallets But Not Lives
It should be stressed that, so far, none of these incidences have been directed at travelers using ride-hailing services, and while there’s currently no threat to traveler safety, it could trigger a run on travelers’ wallets.
The tourist economy in any destination is reactionary by nature, prices fluctuate with inflation, demand, the season, and even the weather. But likely the biggest contributor to price increases for travelers is a lack of competition.
Taxi drivers across Mexico have a rogue reputation when it comes to pricing, especially in tourist hotspots, and a lack of competition from Uber and Didi drivers during nighttime hours is unlikely to see prices stay stable.
Worrying, But Not Ignored
In past years reports such as these created serious worry among both tourists and locals, due in large part to the lack of confidence in the authorities and law enforcement to tackle the issue fast.
Thankfully, policing in Mexico has been undergoing radical changes, no more so than in Los Cabos, where law enforcement has made huge strides in an impressively short period of time with new training, equipment, and even hiring standards all helping to revamp the public security response.
More importantly, the tactics employed in policing have been modernized. In the past law enforcement was reactionary, with responses to crime waves coming too late to be effective.
Today, the approach is very different, preventative policing tactics lead decision-making, and the response to newly identified problems has become rapid in comparison to the old style of policing.
Already authorities have publicly announced their intention to combat this new crime wave, which by any measure is still a relatively small concern, further cementing the growing reputation of the authorities and their willingness to be proactive in protecting travelers.
Is La Paz Safe To Visit?
In 2023, there has been a trend of travelers choosing to step out of their resorts and explore the state of Baja California Sur in greater numbers than before, and La Paz has been one of the biggest winners of travelers’ growing love of exploration.
This change in attitudes hasn’t come from travelers throwing caution to the wind. Instead, it is the result of a hugely improved security situation across the state.
Furthermore, while these crimes have been taking place in La Paz, the city has seen an epic reduction in crime in 2023. Making it one of the safest destinations in Mexico in recent months.
With that being said, travelers always need to do their own risk assessment before visiting a destination, ensuring that any trending criminal activities are known to help avoid being in situations that can increase their likelihood.
However, while this situation is important enough to keep an eye on, it shouldn’t affect travelers’ decision on whether or not to visit La Paz or Los Cabos, with both destinations retaining a safe environment for visitors.
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