Chiapas: Migrants stitch their lips to put pressure on Mexican authorities

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Seven migrants left this Friday in a caravan from the Mexican city of Tapachula, bordering Guatemala

Seven migrants, between Central Americans and South Americans, who left this Friday in a caravan from the Mexican city of Tapachula, bordering Guatemala, sewed their lips with a needle and thread in order to pressure the authorities with the issuance of legal stay documents.

In addition, the migrants warned that from this moment on, every hour a group of people inside the caravan, the second so far this year, will replicate the action.

The Venezuelan Edwin Camacho warned that they will maintain their protest of suturing their lips until their requests to obtain their legal status in the country are echoed and if they do not obtain it, they will continue with that practice.

Migrantes suturan sus labios para presionar a autoridades mexicanas

“We don’t want problems and violence, we just want them to give way to us,” Camacho told Efe.

Meanwhile, his compatriot Matías González, a native of Venezuela, asked the Mexican government to help them move forward because their goal is not to stay in the country.

“We ask for a safe-conduct to leave the city since it has been difficult to continue on our way (to the United States),” he told Efe.

HUNGER STRIKE

Prior to this action, members of the migrant caravan declared a hunger strike upon arriving in the community of Álvaro Obregón, after clashing twice with agents of the National Guard (GN) and migration personnel in the city of Tapachula.

Federal authorities detained nearly 200 migrants, including children and pregnant women, segmenting this caravan.

The situation is critical since the authorities of the National Migration Institute (INM) maintain a checkpoint at the main entrance of the community to prevent them from leaving this town.

After arriving in the community, the migrants took shelter in the church of the place where, they said, they will remain as long as necessary, while the authorities carried out tours and operations to search for and secure the foreigners who remain hidden in the surroundings of this community.

Alexander, a migrant from Venezuela, indicated that the immigration authorities beat them to stop them and asked that they be allowed to move forward since migrating is not a crime.

“We no longer want more violence, the only thing we ask is to pass freely,” he said.

MIGRANT STATION OF THE CROSS

This Friday, hundreds of migrants walked from the Mexican border city of Tapachula with the desire to reach Mexico City to regularize their immigration status, but after a few kilometers, they collided with federal authorities.

This new convoy, called “migrant way of the cross” because of its proximity to Holy Week, left around 07:00 local time (13:00 GMT) from this city in the southeastern state of Chiapas, bordering Guatemala, where thousands of migrants have spent weeks and even months stranded.

The contingent, made up of men, women, and children, took their bags and began their exit through the streets of the city to the Chiapas coastal highway to head towards the capital, more than 1,000 kilometers away.

Caravana migrante presiona a autoridades con enfrentamiento y sutura de  labios

MIGRATION WAVE

The region is experiencing a record flow to the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office detected more than 1.7 million undocumented immigrants on the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021, which ended on September 30.

Mexico deported more than 114,000 foreigners in 2021, according to data from the Migration Policy Unit of the country’s Ministry of the Interior.

In addition, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) received a record 131,448 refugee applications in 2021. Of these petitioners, more than 51,000 are Haitians.

This is the second migrant caravan of the year, after a first contingent of about 500 people that left last January, but barely advanced about 20 kilometers due to pressure from the authorities.

Last September, the Mexican authorities frustrated the advance of four migrant caravans that left precisely from Tapachula.

Then, several UN agencies and NGOs criticized the use of force in the operations to break up these caravans.

Another caravan, which walked for more than a month, arrived in Mexico City in mid-December. 

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