I admit as we plan our pirate family Halloween costumes, I don't really think about the very real resurgence of pirates around the globe. It's a lot more fun to romanticize swashbucklers than to look at the very real damage and deaths pirates in Somali have been responsible for in recent years.
Hitting even closer to home, groups of pirates have been causing mischief in Falcon Lake, which borders Texas and Mexico. And now, one man is missing and presumed dead at the hands of a group of Mexican pirates.
Falcon Lake is a fisherman's and bird watcher's paradise, not a yacht sailing kind of area. So what could these pirates possibly want with average U.S. citizens who aren't carrying suitcases of cash in their personal fishing boats?
Last week a Colorado couple were enjoying the lake on Jet Skis when a gang of pirates shot David Michael Hartley in the head; his wife Tiffany dodged the gunfire and raced back to the American shore.
This is the fifth incident since April of this year where an American has been attacked by boats of Mexican pirates on the lake. You generally don't carry a lot of cash on you when you're on a Jet Ski or out angling. So are these simply random acts of violence? Or attacks designed to keep Americans out of the water -- even if they stay on the American side of the lake?
The latter points more to drug trafficking, which is what officials suspect, rather than your traditional robbery.
Of course some people are calling for stricter border regulations -- but it's a little difficult to tell who's on what country's side when you're in the middle of water. And most of the attacks seem to be coming from Mexico's side, regardless.
What is clear is that tourism will be going down at Falcon Lake. Even as the Department of Public Safety issues warnings to stay away from boats that the pirates traditionally use ("boats with a large prow, a small outboard motor without a cowling, and no identification numbers on the hull"), and advise Americans to stay on the U.S. side of the lake.
What should we be doing about these pirate attacks?
Image via DVIDSHUB/Flickr