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Cancun seeing large increase in foreign street vendors

Cancun, Q.R. — Authorities in Cancun say they are seeing an increase in the amount of foreign street vendors, adding that they are starting to take over the streets.

Melitón Ortega García, Cancun alderman and representative of the Commission of Industry, Trade and Agricultural Affairs says they have registered an increase in foreigners arriving from other countries selling items on the streets.

He says that they are often selling items such as flower-shaped palm leaves to tourists, however, they are also flooding traffic light areas where they ask motorists for money. He explained that the behavior of trades on Cancun streets is changing.

Now, he says, instead of seeing seasonal countrymen and merchant sellers from Chiapas or Yucatan, there are a lot of Central Americans arriving and taking over the streets which adds to an increase in insecurity.

“They not only come to sell, but they also do pillerías (dirty, dishonest tricks), so for that reason there is a need to put a brake on them,” explained Ortega García.

The National Commission for the Protection of Financial Services (Condusef) have detected the foreigners asking for money at traffic lights, noting that what they are really doing is scouting the inside of the vehicle for items, then assaulting drivers for the items.

Ortega García says Cancun has become a point of refuge for migrants from different countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Guatemala who come to Cancun for a better life. However, they are saturating the streets with trades, which also brings unfair competition for business and vendors that pay for permits.