18.08.20 Pirates of the Caribbean

August 20, 2018
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Political and economic crises from Venezuela to Nicaragua to Haiti have given way to lawlessness and desperation.

Now a familiar crew of vigilantes have reappeared:

What We Know:

  • What: Attacks, including barbaric killings & muggings,A upA 163% last yr vs. 2016, according to new report. 59% of incidents involve robbery on yachts.
  • Where: Predominant rise in Venezuela, but also Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Nicaragua, Honduras & Haiti.
  • How Much:A $1M in stolen belongings in 2017.

The Backstory:

Off the coast of Venezuela, the hot spot for piracy in the Caribbean, residents struggle for survival.

Desperation: 90% of Venezuelans say they don’t have enough money to eat and police are abandoning posts due to lack of pay.

WaPo reports: pirates are often directly involved w/corrupt officials.

‘This reminds me of how the problems started off the coast of eastern Africa.”

Roodal Moonilal, opposition lawmaker from neighboring Trinidad and Tobago, likening Venezuelan pirates to Somalia, where impoverished fisherman turned to hijacking passing vessels after the country's collapse in the 1990s.

“I’m The Captain Now”

While piracy in East Africa bags a larger booty ($1.4B in 2017) vs. Caribbean, attacks there are on the decline – both in incidents reported & amount stolen.

In 2017, there wereA 54 attacks in E. Africa while attacks in theA Caribbean jumped to 71.

Pirates are a new fear for those who make their living in the Caribbean. Locals are waiting until dark or fishing closer to shore to avoid attacks. Read their stories here.

by Jenna Lee,