Information on the problems faced by taxi-cab drivers and on whether protection is available from the police and state authorities [ECU24050.E]

The following information was provided in a 30 September 1996 telephone interview with an economist from the World Bank who specializes on urban infrastructure and municipal issues in Ecuador with the Transportation, Water and Urban Development Department of the World Bank.

In Ecuador, street assaults and robberies are commonplace. The dangers of being a taxi-cab driver in Ecuador depend on the city where the driver operates. Quito and Cuenca tend to be fairly safe for taxi-cab drivers to operate in while Guayaquil is considered to be more dangerous, although the source cautioned that even in Quito there are areas of the city that are very dangerous for taxi-cab drivers.

High unemployment in Ecuador combined with the lucrative pay available to taxi-cab drivers has encouraged large number of workers from other sectors to seek employment as cab drivers. The source was aware of situations where inexperience and a "lack of street smarts" resulted in compromising situations for new cab drivers. The source noted that the most common crimes against cab drivers include having their cabs stolen and driven across the border for use in drug smuggling or resale in Peru and Columbia, or being robbed of their fares by armed assailants.

According to the source, police are known to solicit bribes from taxi-cab drivers to "overlook" issuing a fine for a traffic violation, after having stopped the vehicle for a minor infraction. The source was of the opinion that the judicial system of redress for petty crime against taxi-cab drivers in Ecuador is cumbersome and inadequate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Transportation, Water and Urban Development Department, Division 3, World Bank, Washington, DC. 30 September 1996. Telephone interview with economist.

Additional Sources Consulted

On-line search of media sources.

Four sources consulted did not provide information on the requested subject.