Today´s breed of pirate, however, uses high-powered guns, and, at least in Mexico, seems to be interested primarily in robbing shrimp boats.
In the last six years, according to statistics from the Marine Secretariat, the Mexican Navy has registered 41 acts of piracy against fishing boats. The vast majority of attacks have taken place along the coasts of Sonora and Sinaloa states, and at less than 12 miles off the shore.
The most recent incident came off the coast of Sinaloa in November of 2005, when three small Navy craft took heavy fire while responding to a pirate attack on the shrimp boat Benito Juárez. The attack was initially repelled when two crew members from the Benito Juárez opened fire on the attackers.
But just as the case in the other 40 registered attacks, no arrests were made...
Mario Vela Domínguez, a Navy captain, explained that part of the problem stems from the fact that the pirates work in conjunction with local fishermen, who help hide them from law enforcement in lagoons, marshes and swamps.
And he said that is it increasingly rare that pirate attacks are reported, most likely because crew members on the affected vessels are connected with the robbers.
Thursday, January 19, 2006