[dropcap]M[/dropcap]EXICO – The fisherman who survived for 15 months at sea is being sued for one million dollars (£650,000) by the family of his dead colleague, who accuse him of eating their relative to survive.
Salvador Alvarenga, 36, paid Ezequiel Cordoba, 22, $50 to accompany him on a two-day fishing trip off the coast of Mexico in November 2012.
After a vicious storm pushed the boat out to sea, the pair survived by catching fish and birds, and drinking turtle blood and urine.
Mr Cordoba eventually died after making Mr Alvarenga promise not to eat his corpse and to find his mother and tell her what happened.
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Mr Alvarenga kept the corpse on the boat for six days for company, until he realised he had lost his grip on reality and threw it overboard.
He was found on a remote island in the Pacific after 348 days adrift.
Mr Cordoba’s family are now demanding one million dollars compensation after claiming he was a victim of cannibalism.
Mr Alvarenga’s lawyer, Ricardo Cucalon, told local media he denied the castaway had eaten his shipmate.
He pointed out that the lawsuit was launched days after a book about Mr Alvarenga’s ordeal was published.
He told El Salvador’s El Diario de Hoy: “I believe that this demand is part of the pressure from this family to divide the proceeds of royalties.
“Many believe the book is making my client a rich man, but what he will earn is much less than people think.”