Seven Colombian men, all former General Motors employees, have sewn their mouths shut as part of a hunger strike that is now in its third week. The demonstrators, stationed outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota, are protesting their termination from the GM Colmotores plant.

As reported by The Toronto Star, the men say that GM fired them after they incurred various debilitating job-related injuries, rather than help them obtain the proper medical treatment. 35-year-old Jorge Parra, speaking on behalf of the group, told reporters (he and the other demonstrators can apparently still mumble through their sewn-shut lips) that the men want compensation for their medical expenses and assistance getting new employment. Parra says that he and his fellow demonstrators are willing to die for their cause.

"I have terrible pains I'm my stomach, my lips are swollen and sore, and I am having problems sleeping... but I will not give up," he said, according to the report.

General Motors responded to the action with a statement saying, "GM Colmotores is respectful of the law and has never put the health or the well-being of its employees at risk."

Full coverage is available at The Toronto Star and a video from the protesters detailing their position is posted below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      Vincent Wynn
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still dont see the logic of sewing your mouth shut.. what if they want to negotiate??? really hard to negotiate when someones mumbling.
      kelvin273c
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's normally a professional courtesy to provide an update acknowledging mistakes after making changes to an article or even the URL. Why is the "Columbia" tag used? Likewise, why wouldn't the tag be removed for another incorrect spelling? http://www.autoblog.com/2011/04/06/hot-wheels-gets-playful-with-full-scale-advertisements/
      RudyH
      • 2 Years Ago
      "I have terrible pains I'm my stomach, my lips are swollen and sore, and I am having problems sleeping... but I will not give up," he said, according to the report. Umm, maybe sewing your lips together wasn't a good idea? Likely the lack of food, and the fact you sewed your mouth together is causing the swelling and soreness...I can understand why you are having problems sleeping too. I am not a doctor though, so please correct me if I am wrong...
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RudyH
        They are just being drama queens. Texas is a right to work state too. You get laid off, you say "crap!" out loud, and then you go and get yourself another job. And that works in your favor too. If my company isn't paying me enough, I can leave whenever I feel like it, and just say "SEE YA" and make more money or get better benefits. These people want to act like they are married to their employer though, and expect half the company in the divorce like they are owed it.
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      My neighbors are Colombians; I've always thought they were kind of dumb. Now I know for sure.
        montegod7ss
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dohc73
        Lesson of the day. That was a prejudiced comment, not racist. Stop overusing the term racism for something that has nothing to do with it. There is far less racism in the World than people want you to believe, only because the word is overused so much.
          ThomasP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @montegod7ss
          I'm sorry but how is this not racist?
          montegod7ss
          • 2 Years Ago
          @montegod7ss
          Because it isn't. Words have meanings, and using the wrong word with the wrong definition is, well, wrong. I'm not going to Google racism vs. prejudice for you, but after doing so you should have an idea.
        MotionDesigner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dohc73
        And we know for sure that you are a racist bigot.
        DmitriyB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dohc73
        What a bigoted response. I'd bet your neighbors would pale in comparison to you.
          frankleodesign
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DmitriyB
          Yes, they do pale in comparison very much. Thank you for understanding.
          dohc73
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DmitriyB
          No, I wouldn't say they pale in comparison. And screw you Frank.
      Juanfe Castro
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Autoblog, I am an avid daily reader of your website. But I am a Colombian too. the correct spelling for my country is COLOMBIA. Please lets make this right. Please help us put some pressure over GM, please lets help this guys out.
      niguels
      • 2 Years Ago
      Columbia is a place in the United States of America, Colombia is a country in South America.
        MotionDesigner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @niguels
        You totally enlightened me with your comment.
          J
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MotionDesigner
          Rest assured, if AB misspelled "Ford Mustang", the noise of half empty PBR cans hitting the floor as fanboi's scrambled for their keyboards to correct it would be deafening.
          MotionDesigner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MotionDesigner
          I admit, I didn't notice the typo at first, even in your comment. So I was confused about what you were talking about. Now I know. I'm usually a good speller... but cue in the lynch mob who thinks I'm a hillbilly. Oh well.
        avconsumer2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @niguels
        If that's supposed to be a limerick of some sort... don't quit your day job.
          niguels
          • 2 Years Ago
          @avconsumer2
          I was just stating facts for clear reading. I got confused myself going through the article because the title reads Columbia but the context is about Colombia. Didn't want to be funny or rude.
        avconsumer2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @niguels
        lol - re: my earlier comment - MY bad. Didn't even notice you spelled the two differently (or the articles misspelling). I am fail @ internetz today! (and now have downvotes to prove it) ;P
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where is says "U.S. embassy in Bogota" in the first paragraph, is kind of a dead give away what Columbia they are talking about.
        James
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jake
        Only amongst the pedestrian population of the United States is being correct looked down upon. Is correct spelling really so difficult as to be forgiven if not achieved? It is no wonder my hamburgers never come out according to my order.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @James
          [blocked]
        BB79826
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jake
        Correct -- the one spelled Colombia. Went over your head, huh.
          Jake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BB79826
          I guess you can't wait til school starts so you can get back to your job grading 3rd grade writing assignments?
          Henry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BB79826
          @Jake, you are actually defending this? Wow!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the kind of protest I approve of. Doesn't cost the tax payers anything, and their mouths are sewn shut so they aren't even yelling in the streets. Who wants to bet they are lying bastards and are just eating through straws.
        Adrian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Companies this size in this country ride the razor's edge of the law CONSTANTLY. They have just as strong a chance of telling the truth as they do of lying. Your statement is beyond ignorant.
      Henry
      • 2 Years Ago
      What will it take for Autoblog to correct the misspelled country's name? Do they even have pride in their craft at all? It is onething not to know how to spell a country's name but another when it was brought to your attention in more ways than one and yet, nothing is done.
        Vision7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Henry
        The number of grammatical errors I come across on a daily basis is becoming quite comical. Seriously, Autoblog, hire a copy editor because it's already beyond the point of ridiculousness.
          mchlrus1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vision7
          Henry, your rant has a grammatical error in it.
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not to dismiss any abuses and mistreatment that may be occurring at the GM facilities in Colombia, but "I'm going to sew my lips closed and starve myself until you rehire me" is a good reason why I would not want to rehire these folks.
      Ricky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Autoblog you disgust me.
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