- The 8 bus drivers were fired two months ago, nailed themselves to wooden crosses 17 days ago
- "They're also on hunger strike and some of them are in critical condition," says a city official
- One of the drivers says the eight are willing to take the protest "to the very end"
- The bus company says it has tried to find a solution to the labor conflict
(CNN) -- They're lying on top of wooden crosses arranged flat on the ground.
Passers-by who approach them to get a closer look cringe when they see their hands. The protesters have driven nails into the flesh of their palms between their middle and index fingers, nails that then go straight into planks of wood.
The protesters are eight bus drivers who were fired from their jobs two months ago.
They protested in mid-July outside the offices of the Vanguardia bus company, their former employer. But after concluding they weren't getting anywhere by doing that, they "crucified" themselves more than two weeks ago across the street from Vanguardia's headquarters in the Paraguayan city of Luque, located 12 kilometers (about seven and a half miles) northeast of Asunción, the Paraguayan capital.
Damián Espinola, communications director with the Luque municipal government, has been part of a group of local authorities who have tried to mediate between the company and the crucified bus drivers.
"It's hard to believe, but it's true," Espinola said.