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For lack of pirates, the security guards of a Spanish tuna boat kill each other

Spanish fishermen in the Seychelles (© NGV / B2)
Spanish fishermen in the Seychelles (© NGV / B2 archives)

(B2) The Seychellois police are investigating a rather innocuous matter that occurred on board a Basque boat, the Txori Gorri, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Two of the security agents who are supposed to protect the tuna boat as soon as it is fishing at sea, against pirates, killed each other in an altercation, apparently fratricidal.

A fatal shot...

According to the preliminary investigation by the Seychellois police, and the words of the captain of the ship, reported by theSeychelles information agency, who are " a security guard shot a colleague at 16 p.m. last Friday, fatally wounding him ". Detailed information by the Spanish daily El Pais, citing sources within the state security forces and bodies.

…followed by suicide

The tuna boat was between Madagascar and the Seychelles Islands, about 90 miles from Port Victoria, when a “ lively discussion between the two security guards resulted in a shootout. " One of the guards, Juan José Vera Carrillo, then fatally shot his partner, Juan Manuel Martinez Marchante.,” before going to hide in a cabin of the boat and then committing suicide.

A Basque tuna boat used to the Indian Ocean

The Txori Gorri is owned by Inpesca, based in Bermeo, in the Spanish Basque country, and flies the Spanish flag. It had been attacked at least once by Somali pirates, notably in March 2010, on March 18, according to our data. Attack remained unsuccessful, the ship having managed to escape (read: Tuna boats in the Indian Ocean are under attack every day). A few months earlier, on November 19, 2009, spotting a suspicious ship with pirates, about 6 nautical miles from where he was fishing, he fled. No attack was reported at the time.

Tuna boats protected by private guards since the end of 2009

I was able to visit his twin brother, the Txori audi, in October 2009, when he was desperately waiting to be able to go back to sea with private guards on board. This ship, which flies the flag of the Seychelles, had benefited from private protection put in place by the Spanish government. Madrid having chosen this solution rather than a military solution chosen by France. Read : Basque tuna boats in the Seychelles: "We are fishermen, not soldiers"


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).