When pirates began invading ships and taking hostages off the coast of Somalia, it was world news. We heard daily about these ransoms and the rather archaic seeming bandits responsible for the acts. Really, pirates? In this day and age?
What we heard little about was why these Somali people began commandeering the giant vessels. There was little talk of the US' accidental bombing on a meeting of the area's elders, and certainly no discussion of the toxic waste being dumped into the region's seas. But it was the commercial fish robbing along the coastline that took all the Somali people had left. Soon, famine became unavoidable, and the last traces of sustenance vanished.
Now, pirates are so common that those forced to travel through the ransacked waterways see machine guns and hostage negotiations as a cost of doing business.
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It's a story that's told well in the new documentary Stolen Seas, which is being shown tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the new Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley. Seas is being brought to us by the Video Association of Dallas, the Dallas Video Fest and Something to Talk About, and it gives a compelling look inside the hostage negotiations of one hijacked vessel.