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Migrants sew their mouths shut in a bid for US border

Migrants sew their mouths shut in a bid for US border

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo river near the U.S.-Mexico border, seen from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico on Dec. 7, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

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 US 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.”

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.

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

The agency said it continues to attend cases, adding priority has been given to those who make up vulnerable groups, such as children, adolescents, pregnant women, victims of crime, people with disabilities and the elderly.