Meet Bartolo Fuentes, the Honduran ex-lawmaker who helped launch the 7,000-strong caravan marching toward the United States — on a promise he says he never made.
In September, Fuentes began coordinating with groups dispersed throughout Honduras seeking to make the trek north.
The initial number of people involved was about 200.
“No one expected this human avalanche,” Fuentes told the Daily Beast in an interview published Tuesday.
What changed everything was a TV report on HCH — a Honduran news channel.
A woman reportedly part of the caravan told TV anchors of Fuentes’ efforts, and she mentioned “assistance.” The anchors then supposedly said Fuentes would pay migrants’ food and transportation costs — which he denied in an interview.
Still, thousands took a chance, since a human-smuggling “coyote” charges upwards of $7,000 to take someone across the US border.
“After that news program, I started to get hundreds of calls, then it took on a life of its own,” Fuentes said.