The asteroid belt is known as the Ceres Belt, named after the first object detected in this region. The Ceres belt contains various mining station on some of the larger asteroids. It is a relatively busy pieces of space; not only mining vessels and bulk carriers fly through its jumpgates, but also many ships on their way from Mars to Jupiter pass through the belt.
These ships are of course a very fine prey for pirates. Apart from the mining stations, there are various groups who live on old ships or abandoned stations, that make their living by attacking the traffic passing through the belt. These groups consist mostly of refugees; people trying to escape after leaving their job in one of the corporations, people hiding from prosecution for crimes, or people fleeing from the euthanasia practiced in some of the outposts where there are not enough resources to care for sick, old or weak people and you are seen as easy prey. There are rumors that some failed genetic experiments live among the pirates, but nobody knows whether this is true.
Pirate groups are living in hollowed out mining asteroids and old decommissioned mining and transport ships. They live from whatever they can gather. They use it to make their housing, clothes, food, transportation and weapons. Pirates wear whatever clothing they gather from raids, often re-sized to make them fit. Newer, clean and neat clothing is often used as a disguise for infiltration missions, after it has been worn down it gets passed on to the living groups, where it gets patched-up or recycled. The weapons pirates use, are often modified mining lasers. Mounted on a small, agile exploratory mining ship or a mining-drone connected to a pressurized escape pod, they are rather effective but prone to accidents.
A well-know pirate group is called the Ceres Belt Bedouins. Recently, however, this group has struck a deal with the Mars Union. They have stopped their attacks, and are now trying to build a self sustaining community, supported by regular supply shipments from the Union.