Ecuador’s Cocaine Pirates

Ecuador has become a maritime drug transfer point for traffickers from Mexico and Colombia. The fishing boats are hijacked or used as service stations, and the ports are a major weak point for the government of President Rafael Correa.

Ecuador’s Cocaine Pirates

Written by *Alejandra S. Inzunza and Pablo Ferri

Ecuador has become a maritime drug transfer point for traffickers from Mexico and Colombia. The fishing boats are hijacked or used as service stations, and the ports are a major weak point for the government of President Rafael Correa.

For years, Marco Sanchez worked carrying buckets full of fish from his colleagues’ boats to the seashore in Jaramijo, a small town near San Pablo de Manta, or Manta, as this municipality in the Manabi province — one of the most important port cities in Ecuador — is known.

Marco cleaned the fish and carried them to the center to sell, until one day he was offered a position as a cook on a fishing boat. He was 24 years old and had a son. For a long time, he had been tired of cleaning fish, so he quickly accepted the job, although his father, a retired sailor, had warned him about the dangers of the sea: the storms, the 18 days or more without touching land, the diseases, the mechanical problems. And yes, also the drug traffickers.

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Source: In Sight Crime.

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