According to Reuters, a dozen undocumented Mexican migrants on Mexico’s southern border stitched their mouths with needle and thread on Tuesday in an attempt to persuade the country’s immigration authorities to let them to cross into the United States.
The migrants, largely from Central and South America, assisted each other in sewing their lips with needles and plastic threads, allowing a little hole to drink liquids and wiping away blood from the stitches with alcohol.
“As a gesture of protest, the migrants are stitching their mouths together,” said Irineo Mujica, an activist who was present that the demonstration venue. “We’re hoping that the National Migration Institute notices that they’re bleeding and that they’re humans too.”
“It is disturbing that these measures have been carried out with the knowledge and assistance of individuals who name themselves their representatives, with the purpose of pressuring authorities on an attention already granted,” Mexico’s migration agency (INM) stated in a public statement.
When they staged the dramatic protest in Tapachula, a border city with Guatemala where hundreds of migrants have been waiting for months for papers to be able to freely cross the nation, some were carrying their children.
“I’m doing it for my daughter,” said Yorgelis Rivera, a Venezuelan. “She hasn’t eaten anything in the last few hours, and I don’t see anything being done by the authorities to help the situation.”
“We’re like prisoners here,” Rivera said, adding that she had been waiting for more than a month for a response from Mexico’s migration office.
The agency said it continues to attend cases, adding that priority has been given to those who make up vulnerable categories, such as children, teenagers, pregnant women, victims of crime, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Every day, more than a hundred applicants arrive at the their offices in the southern city, according to the institution.