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.
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 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.”
The migrants are protesting as they wait for Mexico’s migration agency to allow them to freely cross the country.REUTERS/Jose Torres 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.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.
The blood shed by the migrants will hopefully show “that they are human beings.”REUTERS/Jose Torres 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.
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 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