Piratería

There were fewer than 200 maritime pirate attacks in 2016, the lowest level in more than 20 years. Total global incidents declined nearly 22 percent from 2015 — and nearly 60 percent from 2010, when Somali piracy captured the world’s attention.

But violent pirate attacks increased in two places: the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and East Malaysia, and the Gulf of Guinea off the Nigerian coast. In both places the number of pirate attacks more than doubled last year and were closely linked to rebel movement.

Some piracy hot spots — Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Vietnam — all experienced significantly less piracy in 2016 compared to 2015.…  Seguir leyendo »

There were fewer than 200 maritime pirate attacks in 2016, the lowest level in more than 20 years. Total global incidents declined nearly 22 percent from 2015 — and nearly 60 percent from 2010, when Somali piracy captured the world’s attention.

But violent pirate attacks increased in two places: the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and East Malaysia, and the Gulf of Guinea off the Nigerian coast. In both places the number of pirate attacks more than doubled last year and were closely linked to rebel movement.

Some piracy hot spots — Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Vietnam — all experienced significantly less piracy in 2016 compared to 2015.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hay tres aspectos o ejemplos (como prefiramos llamarlos) de la seguridad como bien público global que tienen especial relevancia en estos momentos convulsos que vivimos: la piratería, las enfermedades de alto contagio y el terrorismo. Merece la pena que se le dedique a cada uno de ellos un espacio en este lugar de opinión  que nos ofrece el Observatorio.

La piratería de Somalia es uno de los ejemplos más claros de la seguridad como un bien público global, tanto por su aparición y la forma en la que operan los piratas, sus características, como por la forma en la que se aborda.…  Seguir leyendo »

Introducción

En el año 2008, el incremento del número de ataques piratas en las costas somalíes puso en alerta a la Comunidad Internacional que comenzó a tomar medidas. Desde entonces se han ido desarrollando operaciones militares navales y terrestres en la zona con el objetivo de acabar con la amenaza que supone esta actividad pirática para la seguridad marítima internacional. Del mismo modo se están llevando a cabo algunos proyectos como “Youth and Risk Initiatives” promovido por el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el desarrollo (PNUD), la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) y UNICEF o “Norwegian Church Aid’s Livelyhoods to Piracy Project” que desarrollan también proyectos sociales destinados a los más jóvenes, que son a su vez los más vulnerables ante la piratería y otras actividades ilícitas llevadas a cabo en la región [1].…  Seguir leyendo »

Las características políticas, económicas y sociales de gran parte de los países de África Subsahariana suponen un caldo de cultivo para las actividades delictivas en general: tráfico de armas, drogas, personas y también para la piratería. Los conflictos internos y la pobreza ofrecen muy pocas expectativas de futuro a la población que cuenta con unas altas tasas de natalidad, así como con un alto porcentaje de jóvenes en edad de trabajar (más del 60% de la población es menor de 20 años), por lo que las actividades delictivas se convierten casi en una necesidad y un modo de subsistencia mucho más rentable que cualquier actividad legal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips,” an action movie starring Tom Hanks, dramatizes the hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama in 2009. The high-seas, high-stakes drama of Somali piracy has been a box-office hit.

But of the millions of people who will watch the movie, few will leave the cinema grasping the context of crime and terrorism in Somalia, even as this violence has had ripple effects like the recent terrorist attacks at a shopping mall in Nairobi, and accounts of religious radicalization of Somalis, from Minnesota to Norway.

Based on my fieldwork with Somali pirates, ransom negotiators, and naval officers in Kenya, as well as statistical analysis I conducted with Arjun S.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Tom Hanks movie “Captain Phillips,” which opens Friday, will focus attention — again — on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that’s been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in “Captain Phillips,” there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed. And Somalia’s other evils — the Shabab and its terrorist activities, for example — have taken over news headlines.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for three Somalis convicted of murdering four Americans whose yacht was captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean off Oman in 2011. Although nearly two dozen Somali pirates have now been convicted in U.S. courts, these three men are the first to potentially face the death penalty.

Against the backdrop of the U.S. trial, a largely unknown and underreported humanitarian tragedy caused by the brutality of pirates is unfolding: Unlike the Americans killed by pirates after negotiations for their release failed, the crews of many smaller ships, known as dhows, operating in the Indian Ocean often end up as slaves, never to return to their homelands because their Indian, Pakistani or Iranian owners cannot afford to pay their ransom.…  Seguir leyendo »

Face à l’appel de pays du golfe de Guinée pour une plus grande implication de la communauté internationale face à la piraterie, l’Union Européenne doit saisir cette opportunité pour relancer son partenariat stratégique avec l’Union Africaine et les sous-ensembles régionaux, en l’élargissant aux domaines de la sécurité et de la sûreté maritime. En attendant la maturation de ce projet au sein de l’UE, la France a un rôle moteur à jouer au regard de ses liens historiques et doit élargir à d’autres partenaires les efforts déjà entrepris.

Sujet d’actualité au large de la Somalie, la piraterie se développe depuis peu dans le golfe de Guinée.…  Seguir leyendo »

Si ces derniers mois, la famine, les enlèvements d’occidentaux et les actions armées du groupe Al-Shabaab ont fait parler de la Somalie dans l’actualité, un autre mal, la piraterie, mobilise les forces navales depuis 2008. Parmi elles, la force navale européenne (EUNAVFOR) mène l’opération Atalante. Avec la stabilisation du phénomène, certains membres de l’Union Européenne souhaiteraient désormais conduire des actions plus offensives. Mais cet avis n’est pas partagé par l’ensemble des 27 membres tant il demeure des incertitudes quant aux conséquences de telles opérations.

Trois coalitions (OTAN, UE et multinationale sous influence américaine) et d’autres Etats, comme la Chine, l’Inde, le Japon, la Russie ou l’Iran, opèrent aujourd’hui au large de la Somalie.…  Seguir leyendo »

Since February, the Danish sailor Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, Birgit, and their three children, Rune, Hjalte and Naja, have been held hostage by Somali pirates. After a failed rescue attempt in March, the family has been treated brutally and many now claim that if the ransom is not paid immediately, they risk execution – just as two American couples, Jean and Scott Adams, and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, were executed by pirates earlier this year when ransoms were not paid in time.

The human cost of refusing to pay is high. Sadly, however, the human cost of paying is even higher.…  Seguir leyendo »

Four American yachters killed; a Danish family of five and two crew members kidnapped: these events in the space of a week early this year may finally fuel a consensus that something needs to be done about piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. And something should be done: in addition to the yachters, nearly 700 sailors, mostly Filipino, Bangladeshi and Russian, are being held hostage. Often forced to operate their captured ships at gunpoint, with little food or water, some of them have been prisoners for months.

But maritime lawlessness isn’t confined to pirates. Thanks to a system of ship registration called “flags of convenience,” it is all too easy for unscrupulous ship owners to get away with criminal behavior.…  Seguir leyendo »

While President Obama battles Republicans in Congress over federal budgets, spiraling debt and out-of-control spending, another out-of-control phenomena – namely piracy, continues to wreak havoc on the world economy with an estimated cost of $15 billion by 2015.

Attacks on shipping have skyrocketed to 142 incidents worldwide just within the first three months of 2011 – 18 vessels were hijacked and 344 crew taken hostage. The United Arab Emirates is holding emergency talks this week with representatives from more than 50 countries to address the continuing menace.

Virtually invisible in the shadow of U.S. “kinetic military action” in Libya and other chaos brought about by the Arab Spring, 13 Somalis and a Yemeni were quietly brought to Norfolk, Va., where they were indicted on piracy charges last month and remain in local jails pending trial later this year.…  Seguir leyendo »

La lucha contra la piratería en Somalia

Tema: El despliegue aeronaval internacional en torno al Cuerno de África permite mantener abiertas las líneas de comunicación marítima y el flujo de buques y mercancías pero no consigue disuadir a los piratas de actuar ni reducir significativamente las cifras de secuestros.

Resumen: La lucha contra la piratería en el Golfo de Adén y el Océano Índico ha movilizado las flotas de la UE, la OTAN y las de países como China, la India e Irán, entre otros. Se han creado centros de información y establecido un corredor internacional para que los buques y aeronaves presentes en la zona puedan proteger a los buques en tránsito.…  Seguir leyendo »

It has become apparent that real piracy is far different from the lighthearted subject sometimes portrayed in popular culture, and the problem is growing much worse. Besides the tragic cost in lives, the U.S., many other nations and NATO spent roughly $2 billion combined last year to safeguard the busy international sea lanes off the Horn of Africa from Somali pirates. According to the International Maritime Bureau, “hijackings off the coast of Somalia accounted for 92% of all ship seizures last year,” and the price tag does not include the costs of reallocating critical military resources.

Sadly, much of this could have been avoided had the world made a stronger commitment to conservation and environmental protection years earlier.…  Seguir leyendo »

The killing of four Americans who were taken hostage aboard the yacht Quest off the coast of Oman serves as an ominous warning that pirate activity will increase in 2011 despite large-scale naval deployments in the Gulf of Aden.

The incident also underscores the limits of raw power. Those aboard the Quest, although surrounded by warships and tracked by a helicopter, still met a tragic end.

Indeed, intercepting a hijacked vessel is an anomaly. In most cases pirates can act with impunity because of the enormous area that naval patrols need to cover. Only rarely will the authorities be in the vicinity of a ship or yacht under attack.…  Seguir leyendo »

Here in the Seychelles, they believe that a turning point in the war with Somali piracy occurred when the Supreme Court handed down a severe sentence of 22 years each to nine Somali pirates under a new “antipiracy” amendment to Seychelles law.

The pirates really had seized some Seychellois, so the mood in Victoria — the smallest national capital city in the world, with one traffic light — was good, both among officials and ordinary citizens. If we add to this that the United Arab Emirates had donated five patrol vessels to Seychelles, significantly augmenting the local coast guard (which until then had two patrol boats), it becomes clear why the military spirit of the Seychellois was high.…  Seguir leyendo »

The international response to Somali piracy just became more complicated. Kenya’s second-highest court ruled last month that it has no jurisdiction to try pirates captured outside of Kenyan territorial waters. The decision underscores the need for a comprehensive international legal framework to address the challenges of modern-day piracy.

Thanks to a series of agreements since early 2009 with the United States, the European Union, China and other countries, Kenya has emerged as the favored spot for the world’s navies to set captured pirates ashore for trial and imprisonment. The Kenyan judiciary has done its best: Scores of pirates have been convicted and imprisoned.…  Seguir leyendo »

Every 12 hours last year young men boarded motorized skiffs and hijacked vessels on the waterway used by 24,000 ships around the Horn of Africa. Pirate gangs have accrued $150 million in ransom to date, about $4 million per ship. Their take is likely to swell before year’s end. Somali gangs now hold 18 vessels and 379 crew members for ransom.

How do scruffy vagabonds as young as 16 overpower freighters and defy patrolling warships? And how, even when captured, do these modern pirates get away with their crimes?

The answers rest on surprising truths about scrapped laws and strapped shipping lines that tack piracy costs onto freight charges and pass it all on to consumers.…  Seguir leyendo »

How is it possible that pirates from very poor Somalia can hold to ransom ships from some of the richest countries, despite the patrolling by the world’s strongest navies?

That was the dilemma discussed at the recent Istanbul Conference on Somalia, and is high on the agenda of the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.

The current anti-piracy strategy has worked well, but it is facing diminishing returns. Naval patrols off the Horn of Africa have reduced the success rate of attacks: 1 in 10 attempts succeed now, compared to 1 in 3 before. Yet the number of (reported) attacks doubled between 2007 and 2008 from 51 to 111, and doubled again in 2009 to 217.…  Seguir leyendo »