HomeNewsBriefPeru River Pirates Raid Tourist Cruise on the Amazon
BRIEF

Peru River Pirates Raid Tourist Cruise on the Amazon

PERU / 15 JUL 2016 BY SOFIA LIEMANN EN

River pirates assaulted a cruise on the Amazon in Peru, robbing terrified tourists of $20,000 and a range of electronic devices in an incident that highlights the potential dangers associated with adventure tours in insecure countries.

No tourists were harmed in the assault by heavily armed men who stormed the vessel as it moved down the Amazon River in the middle of the night on July 14, El Comercio reported. The tour managed by Amazon Cruises was waylaid in Fernando Lores district near the city of Iquitos.  

Peru’s ATV reported that eight members of a band called “The River Pirates” (Piratas del Rio) took part in the robbery. El Comercio's report said the assailants wore hoods and fired into the air as they stormed the boat, then proceeding to search its rooms and loot the passengers of their valuables. "They were moments of great anguish for fear of losing our life," a crew member told the newspaper.

The 56 passengers were forced to cut short their 7-day cruise on the "Amazon Discovery" and accept refuge from villagers of a near-by hamlet until police arrived. Most of the tourists were from the United States, although several were from Australia and Canada, according to AFP.

InSight Crime Analysis

The last major assault of this kind occurred in October 2014 on the boat Golfinoh as it traveled the same route to Iquitos. A police officer who happened to be on the boat tried to ward off the attack. The officer and one assailant were killed and seven passengers were wounded, La Prensa.Pe reported. Only minor assaults had been reported since then.

Nevertheless, incidents involving river pirates have been reported in other parts of South America. In May 2016, a ferry traveling on the Solimoes River in the State of Amazonas, Brazil, was attacked by three armed men. The assailants used a speed boat to intercept the ferry and stormed the vessel at about midnight. Again, the attackers wore masks and carried assault rifles and pistols. They stole $2,600, several mobile phones and they stripped equipment from a vehicle being transported by the ferry.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

Another incident of river piracy was reported in May 2016 in the city of Barcarena, near Brazil's northern Atlantic coast. Tourists were robbed by 10 heavily armed men who stormed their vessel, but no one was injured or killed.

Although they have all been relatively small-scale events, the assaults highlight insecurity in these remote areas, which are often centers of illegal activity like informal mining and drug trafficking or production. Tourists traveling to many exotic locations in South America should be aware of the potential for getting more adventure than they bargained for.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 19 MAY 2015

Phone taps have reportedly revealed an alliance between the Shining Path guerrillas and a Colombian drug trafficking organization in Peru's…

COCA / 17 JUL 2015

Colombia has surpassed Peru in coca cultivation, according to a new United Nations report, and may have reclaimed its title as…

ARGENTINA / 6 JAN 2017

In 2016, governments continued to use militarized approaches to combating organized crime in Latin America, despite mounting evidence of human…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…