To hear the press and its narrative allies tell it, the Honduras migrant caravan is little more than thousands of mothers and toddlers spontaneously fleeing violence in their home countries. The flight is little different from that seen in previous caravans. Any concern about crime or violence is a “scare tactic,” or “lying,” or “racism,” and there’s no evidence any of the migrants are criminals. President Trump’s warnings about the matter are simply “factually wrong.”
Actually, a different picture is emerging.
Specifically, signs are mounting that far from the exodus being a Madonna-and-child in flip flops narrative, the military-aged unemployed males dominating this wave of caravans are far more violent than reported. That’s not a scare story from some rightwing militia group, but the actual view of the U.S. military, whose 5,000-plus troops have been dispatched to meet the caravans and keep them from storming the U.S. border and entering the U.S. illegally as they already did in Mexico. Asked if the dispatch was all a border stunt by a reporter, Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis icily replied: “We don’t do stunts in this department. Thank you.”
According to the Military Times:
Publicly, the top commander in charge of homeland defense will only say the military does not yet have a full understanding of what threats will surface from the caravan. However, some violent acts that have taken place within the caravan and the way it has forced its way through the border between Guatemala and Mexico has raised concerns that the makeup of the population traveling differs from the past.
“We are working closely with [Customs and Border Patrol] to understand the makeup and the nature of this caravan,” said U.S. Northern Command chief Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy. “This caravan is different than what we’ve seen in the past.”