Poor Pirates: How Poverty Drives Piracy
POTOMAC, Maryland — Piracy has never been a victimless crime. Many victims are hidden in plain sight. Western legend has often glamorized the image of the pirate in the forms of the mythical Blackbeard, the American sailor John Paul Jones or even Disney’s Captain Hook. The reality is a far cry from this idyllic, colorful image. Modern piracy is the tragic combination of poverty with fear, hunger and a desperate desire to survive. Pirates have endured starvation, family separation and a range of hardships across innumerable numbers. They are poor pirates.