Guatemala fishing conditions

Come to Guatemala fishing and catch a submarine

I mentioned in our most recent fishing report how on one of our days fishing out past the 50 mile mark, the fleet was “buzzed”  many times by a patrolling C-130 US Coastguard aircraft.

The crew treated it with mild interest, as it is actually not very common to see aircraft over these territorial waters, and it is certainly quite unusual to see aircraft in the skies of Guatemala except for in Guatemala City itself.

Coming back to the office, perhaps by coincidence, I picked up a newsfeed from US Southcom., or the US authority responsible for co-coordinating all military activities in the region which talked about a recent but fast developing trend for narco-trafficking in the region from Columbia up to Mexico and the USA.


A string of incidents recently made public underscores that the term “Smuggler’s Corridor” can include almost any navigable water in the Eastern Pacific.

According to a Mar. 25 Coast Guard release, on Jan. 15, the San Diego-based cutter Chase intercepted a blue, self-propelled semi-submersible vessel loaded with nearly 15,000 pounds of cocaine, approximately 150 miles northwest of the Colombia-Ecuador border.

The encounter was the third within nine days in the vicinity.

Apparently frustrated in their attempts to ship illicit cargo by land, cocaine smugglers have taken to constructing elaborate, expensive and dangerous-to-operate self-propelled semi-submersible submarines to ferry their drugs northward.

When Chase neared the 50-foot semi-submersible, all four crewmen aboard climbed out onto the sub’s deck. The men voluntarily boarded the cutter’s chase boat and appeared as though they were waiting for something to happen. It never did.    smugglerssub

Normally, the moment semi-submersible operators notice authorities, they begin scuttling procedures by opening specially installed valves that allow large amounts of seawater to enter the bilges. This rapid scuttling normally helps thwart prosecution by sending the evidence to the sea floor, where it is not practical to recover.

Scuttling also forces drug interdiction agents to shift their focus from recovering evidence to an often-fabricated search-and-rescue operation. As the sub sinks, crewmen usually jump overboard, which often helps buy enough time to allow the sub to sink to the bottom.

Sometimes I wish fishing was so easy………………

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