The 2,500 men who are engaged in work at sea sat in their boats waiting for a response from the authorities to reduce thefts. The trasmallos of 2,500 artisan fishermen of the Engabao commune yesterday were not thrown into the sea. The same number of boats or “pangas” of fiberglass remained on the beach on large trunks.
The fishing activity, which daily moves between 3,000 and 4,000 people in the area that fishermen call Engabao port, was paralyzed by the fear caused by pirate gangs that from January 1 to date seized four outboard motors and a boat. “This number of robberies causes alarm, because in so few days of the new year it equals the criminal acts that took place in 2017,” said Luis Orrala García, leader of the artisanal fishermen of Engabao.
According to Orrala, the 40 horsepower engines, used by small fishing vessels, are valued at $ 3,500 and the boats cost between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000. “Taking out accounts and adding the costs of the indicated work implements, we maintain that each fisher loses between $ 5,000 and $ 5,500, without adding the costs of registration and permits that the Navy requires exercising the activity.” For this reason, Orrala asked the authorities of the National Navy to exercise greater control of the area between Punta de Playas and Posorja, a sector known as Los Bajos. “Because there the robberies happen between 18:30 and 20:00”.
The president of the Engabao commune, Pedro Tomalá, showed his disappointment at the unfulfilled promise of security by the head of Security of the Government of Guayas, Maximiliano Delgado, with whom he met in December 2017 to address issues inherent to the population he represents. “They said that they would provide security on land and sea to prevent the actions of invaders and pirates, but that did not happen. Hopefully we do not expect pirates to kill one of the fishermen to act. “On the beach, full of small red crabs, was also the fisherman Rubén Francisco Tomalá, 23 years old.
He and his brother David were assaulted by pirates on January 4. “We picked up the gill net to retire and a larger boat became attached to ours. They were two thieves armed with revolvers, they took us cell phones, money and the engine bought with a loan. ”
The criminals abandoned them 24 miles offshore and the next day, other fishermen friends, found them adrift, said Francisco, married and father of two children of 7 and 1 year. The same odyssey was suffered by José Mejillón Muñoz, 58, and his son José, 28.
The fisherman, with 35 years of work, was assaulted by four pirates on January 5. They got on their boat ‘Sulay Jessica’ and took the engine and the boat. The three members of the National Navy who were in the Engabao Naval checkpoint recognized that the boat that they own to go out to patrol and assist the victims of the assailants is not in operation because the engine that has been damaged since September 2017 However, despite the complaints, yesterday a Coast Guard boat was going from one side to the other off the coast of Engabao. “That Navy launch is there because they knew about the fishermen’s strike and because the press was going to be present.
I would like a journalist to come every day to confirm the abandonment that Engabao suffers, not only on land, but also in the sea, “said Armando Vera Tomalá, 50, another fisherman who was assaulted along with his son Jesus on Friday December 28 of last year.
The general commander of the Police, Ramiro Mantilla, announced last Monday that he will reinforce with more troops and boats the patrols in the aquatic zones of the country. For this, it will contact the National Navy to train the staff of the Special Operations Group (GOE), which will be responsible for this task. In as much, the fishermen raised in the afternoon the measure, although they wait for the authorities concrete actions. (I)