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CNN reports that six U.S. citizens who were salvaging goods from the sea bottom off the coast of Honduras have been arrested for possessing firearms.
On May 5, after the ship pulled into port in Puerto Lempira, police came aboard, arrested the crew and confiscated the vessel, according to a Facebook statement from Aqua Quest, the Florida company the men work for.
The ship's captain said from jail that the weapons on board were for personal protection against pirates.
"It's suicide not to carry them," said one of the detained Americans, Robert Mayne, in a phone interview from the jail.
Editor's Note: In a country whose "legal system" does not deserve the name, "the law" is swiftly enforced when a bunch of gringos with a boat worth appropriating arm themselves against pirates and drug traffickers. The men's living conditions are about what one would expect. CNN reports:
"The men do not have access to good sanitation and are not being properly fed, said Michael McCabe, a crew member who was not detained.
" 'The inmates only ever eat beans and rice. I'm told it's one spoon of each, and that's it,' he said after visiting them.
McCabe has tried to purchase additional food for them, but some of it has been stolen, he said.
"The detainees' squalor turned to terror, when gunfire erupted around them on Friday, according to Mayne's account.
" 'Fighting breaks out every few days here,' he said. 'One prisoner beat another with a stick with a nail in it.' But this was the first time shots were fired their way."
U.S. State Department issues its usual boilerplate: "There is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad."