MEXICO: Free for All

Mexico City's oldtime cabbies, normally carefree and profane, were fighting mad: their tight little monopoly was being threatened. Under a decree handed down by President Lázaro Cárdenas in 1936, licenses had been limited to 5,000 individually owned cabs. Mexico's Supreme Court threw the decree out last year. In moved a fleet of 150 smartly painted cabs called Marfil Marrón (Ivory and Maroon), whose bonded, uniformed drivers were outrageously courteous to passengers, even providing them with electric shavers and the morning papers. When the newcomers, in a deft stroke of public relations, took residents of the Old Ladies' Home for...

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