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Pirates Plague Mexico’s Offshore Oil Platforms

Incidents of piracy in the Mexican waters in the Gulf of Mexico have led to calls to Mexico’s Navy to increase its presence in the area where pirate attacks on vessels and oil platforms have been rising in recent years.

According to InSight Crime, Mexico’s authorities have failed to adequately respond and proactively work to prevent pirate attacks in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, the U.S. Maritime Administration issued warnings after four reported attacks on vessels in the Bay of Campeche area in the southern Gulf of Mexico, involving crew injuries and theft.

Incidents have even spread to oil platforms.

Last month, for example, armed thieves, which Mexican media called ‘pirates’, attacked the Sandunga oil platform in the Bay of Campeche, stole equipment and belongings of rig workers, and fled with speed boats which they used to approach and board the platform, owned by the Mexican oilfield services supply company Goimar. There was gunfire, but no casualties were reported in this particular incident.

Mexico has been saying since last year that it is cracking down on the piracy in the Gulf of Mexico, but rig workers say the Navy presence is not enough. The Navy should constantly patrol the Bay of Campeche, oil platform workers tell Mexican media.

According to InSight Crime, very little is known about the ‘pirates’ in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but no connection with major criminal groups has been established.

Last year, researchers from the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden, wrote in a paper that piracy and armed robbery in the Southern part of the Gulf of Mexico had jumped in recent years. The researchers documented 11 serious security incidents against ships for the first half of 2020 alone. They recommended ports in the area to increase security and to have the Southern part of the Gulf of Mexico declared as a High Risk Area (HRA). 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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