Sewn Mouths: Los Anegados – The Unwanted

Julie Turkewitz schreibt im Atlantic über Leo Ramirez‘ Fotoserie über Los Anegados, die sich mit Gang-Bossen in den überbelegten Gefängnissen von Venezuela angelegt haben und sich daraufhin die Münder zunähen.

At the lowest end of the prison power structure are los anegados — the unwanted ones — prisoners who have angered the pranes or allies of the pranes, on the inside or outside, and fear for their lives. And so, in an act of desperation, they stitch their mouths shut. Within the country’s prisons there is an unspoken, but religiously followed, agreement among inmates: When one sews his lips, no one can kill him.

Los anegados use what they can to bind their lips: thread, plastic, shoe strings. And the act speaks not only to the pranes, but also to the government, “They use the macabre, Dante-esque symbol of sewing their mouths to pressure the government to move them to a prison where their lives are not in danger,” said Ramírez. “I’m not sure any of them managed to get a transfer.”

Why Are Venezuelan Prisoners Sewing Their Mouths Shut? (via Criminal Wisdom)