Caravan chaos: Who are these people, who organized them and who is supplying the cash?

by WorldTribune Staff, October 24, 2018

Reports on the ground are not supporting the corporate media’s narrative that the Honduran caravan heading toward the U.S. border is a spontaneous movement of desperate Central American migrants.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said in a local newspaper report that leftist interests seeking to destabilize his country are manipulating migrants.

A watchdog group said most caravan members it encountered were men between the ages of 17 and 40. / AP

“The irregular mobilization was organized for political reasons to negatively affect the governance and image of Honduras and to destabilize the peace of neighboring countries,” Hernandez said, adding that many have returned to the country after realizing they’ve been misled.

Many in the caravan are being used without regard to the risks to their lives, Hernandez said. The financing of the caravan is still an open question.

Honduran officials say community activists, led by a former legislator named Bartolo Fuentes, originated the event.

Related: Barack Obama, Honduras and the ‘October surprise’ caravan, Oct. 19, 2018

“There’s clear evidence where it began. Bartolo was the person who was in front of the media; he was the face of this event,” Alden Rivera Montes, Honduras’ ambassador to Mexico, told a reporter.

“They were trying to show Honduras as a failed country, which is totally false,” Rivera Montes said.

Fuentes has long been known as a political activist on the Honduran left, according to a report in As a student leader he protested against the U.S.-backed “contra” war to overthrow the neighboring Nicaraguan government, he was elected to the legislature in 2013 and hosted a radio show about migration called “Without Borders.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton tweeted on Oct. 24: “@DHSgov can confirm that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories.”

“Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.,” Houlton said.

President Donald Trump said he had “very good information” about the makeup of the caravan, but acknowledged there is no “proof” criminals are a component. Vice President Mike Pence said it was “inconceivable” that criminals weren’t part of the caravan.

Guatemalan intelligence officials confirmed to government watchdog group Judicial Watch that the caravan which originated in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula includes gang members and criminal elements along with “a multitude of Special Interest Aliens (SIA)” from Africa, India, Bangladesh and other areas.

During a visit to the Guatemalan town of Chiquimula, about 35 miles from the Honduran border, Judicial Watch said its personnel encountered “a rowdy group of about 600 men, ages 17 to about 40, marching north on a narrow two-lane highway. Among them was a 40-year-old Honduran man who previously lived in the United States for decades and got deported. His English was quite good, and he said his kids and girlfriend live in the U.S.”

A man in his 30s “contradicted media reports that caravan participants are fleeing violence and fear for their life,” Judicial Watch said. The man said: “We’re not scared. We’re going to the United States to get jobs.”

Others chanted “vamos para allá Trump!” (We’re coming Trump).

Judicial Watch said all of the migrants it interviewed “repeated the same rehearsed line when asked who organized the caravan, insisting it was a spontaneous event even though there were clearly organizers shouting instructions in Spanish and putting select persons in front of cameras for interviews. A few claimed they heard about it on local news in Honduras. All of them said the caravan was not about politics but rather poverty.”

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