THE LEADERS of Panama taxi drivers engaged in a turf war with Uber, have gained encouragement from events in Argentina where traditional drivers have gained the government’s ear.
In Panama Uber has thrown down a new gauntlet to the yellow hornets by accepting cash from those without access to a credit card.
Taxi drivers who rely on lower paid workers for much of their income see the latest move as a serious threat.
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires Public Ministry officials conducted 13 raids on Thursday September 8 on offices and homes of Uber managers and drivers.
The city prosecutor accused them of violating an order to close down operations in April.
Buenos Aires public prosecutors are expected to request that the eight involved receive 10 days in prison, according to La Nación.
The charges are for working without the permits required by Buenos Aires to provide public transport. In Panama, taxi drivers have likened Uber operators to pirates.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police and the Judicial Investigation Corps of Buenos Aires prosecution reportedly raided an office in downtown Buenos Aires where the firm Uber Argentina SRL works.
They also they raided the homes of two executives who were in charge of Uber in Argentina until last June and the homes of two current managers.
“The goal was to collect evidence that would correctly identify the perpetrators in order to end the violation,” judicial sources told La Nación.