Civil UnrestMainstream News

Migrants trying to reach US border sew mouths shut in gruesome protest

A dozen undocumented migrants trying to reach the US border sewed their mouths shut on Tuesday in a gruesome protest over the Mexican government’s refusal to allow them in.

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Shocking photos taken by Reuters show the migrants, mostly Central and South Americans, using needles and plastic threads to seal their mouths shut in Mexico’s southern border city of Tapachula.

The migrants, including some carrying their children, left a small gap to allow them to drink liquids.

Migrants sew their mouths shut during a protest in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, on February 15, 2022.
EPA/Juan Manuel Blanco
A migrant begins a hunger strike with his mouth sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country outside the office of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, Mexico February 15, 2022.
Officials with the National Migration Institute called the protest “worrying.”
REUTERS/Jose Torres

They used alcohol to wipe away the blood from the stitches, the photos showed.

“I’m doing it for my daughter,” Venezuelan Yorgelis Rivera told the agency. “She has not eaten anything in the last few hours and I see no solution … from the authorities.”

She added, “We are like prisoners here.”

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A migrant begins a hunger strike with his mouth sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country outside the office of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, Mexico February 15, 2022.
The migrants are protesting as they wait for Mexico’s migration agency to allow them to freely cross the country.
REUTERS/Jose Torres
A migrant begins a hunger strike with his mouth sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country outside the office of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, Mexico, February 15, 2022.
Migrants are using needles and plastic threads to seal their mouths shut.
REUTERS/Jose Torres
A migrant begins a hunger strike with her mouth sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country
A migrant begins a hunger strike with her mouth sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country.
REUTERS/Jose Torres

Thousands of migrants have spent months in Tapachula, which borders Guatemala, as they wait for Mexico’s migration agency to allow them to freely cross the country en route to the US border.

Rivera said she has been waiting for a response for more than a month.

“The migrants are sewing their lips together as a sign of protest,” said Irineo Mujica, an activist at the protest.

Migrants begin a hunger strike with their mouths sewed shut during a protest to demand free transit through the country outside the office of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, Mexico, February 15, 2022.
The blood shed by the migrants will hopefully show “that they are human beings.”
REUTERS/Jose Torres
Migrants sew their mouths during a protest in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, 15 February 2022
A dozen migrants from Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Republic of the Congo sewed their lips together with needles and thread.
EPA/Juan Manuel Blanco

“We hope that the National Migration Institute can see that they are bleeding, that they are human beings.”

Officials with the National Migration Institute called the grim protest “worrying.”

“It is worrying that these measures have been carried out with the consent and support of those who call themselves their representatives, with the intention of pressuring authorities on an attention already provided,” the agency said in a statement.

Migrants protest at the offices of the National Migration Institute (INM), in the city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, 14 February 2022.
Some 800 migrants marched from the center of Tapachula to the offices of the delegation of the National Institute of Migration to demand documents that regularize their situation.
EPA/Juan Manuel Blanco
Migrants march towards the offices of the National Institute of Migration (INM), in the city of Tapachula
Migrants march toward the offices of the National Institute of Migration in the city of Tapachula on February 14, 2022.
EPA/Juan Manuel Blanco

It receives more than 100 applications each day in the city — and it continues to tend to cases, the agency said.

With Post wires

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