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Migrants Sew Their Mouths Shut in Quest for Mexico Passage to U.S. Border

Some were carrying their children when they staged the dramatic protest in Tapachula, a border city with Guatemala, which for months has been filled with thousands of migrants waiting for papers to be able to freely cross the country.
Some were carrying their children when they staged the dramatic protest in Tapachula, a border city with Guatemala, which for months has been filled with thousands of migrants waiting for papers to be able to freely cross the country.
A migrant begins a hunger strike with her 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. REUTERS/Jose Torres

A dozen undocumented migrants on Mexico’s southern border sewed their mouths shut on Tuesday in a bid to convince the country’s immigration authority to grant them passage toward the U.S. border.

The migrants, mostly Central and South Americans, helped each other seal their lips using needles and plastic threads, leaving a small space to consume liquids and using alcohol to wipe away drops of blood from the stitches, Reuters images show.

“The migrants are sewing their lips together as a sign of protest,” said Irineo Mujica, an activist at the demonstration. “We hope that the National Migration Institute can see that they are bleeding, that they are human beings.”

Mexico’s migration agency (INM) said in a public statement that “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.”

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