A Jan. 21 account from the pan-Latin American Matriz del Sur agency claiming that Somalia‘s pirates are seeking to send booty as aid to Haiti‘s earthquake victims has made an Internet splash, picked up by Venezuela’s Aporrea and translated into English on Metamute. The report only uses the word “pirates” in quotes (prefaced with “so-called” on first reference), but the pirate leader who is quoted is not identified by name or organization. No alternative term for the pirates is offered.
The anonymous “pirate” (sic) leader says: “The humanitarian aid to Haiti can not be controlled by the United States and European countries; they have no moral authority to do so. They are the ones pirating mankind for many years.” The account claims the “‘pirates’ typically redistribute a significant portion of their profits among relatives and the local population.” They collect ransoms in cash as banks can not operate in Somalia. The report claims the “pirates” have established a network to “ensure the delivery of aid without being detected by the armed forces of enemy governments.”