In Venezuela Pirates Now Rule

Venezuela-Trinidad-pirates
Ryan Roberts, kidnapped and robbed by pirates in 2015, is still fishing. Photo by ALEJANDRO CEGARRA, BLOOMBERG

By Jonathan Franklin (Bloomberg) Their industry all but destroyed, former fishermen now run guns one way, diapers another. On the sea with the desperate and ruthless.

Venezuela and the island of Trinidad are separated by only 10 miles of water and bound together by the most lawless market on Earth today. Playing out at sea and on the coasts, it is a roiling arbitrage—of food, diapers, weapons, drugs, and women—between the desperate and the profit-minded. Government is absent, bandits are everywhere, and participating can cost you your life. But not participating can also mean death, because the official economy of Venezuela is in a state of collapse, and the people are starving.

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