Devils Highway Summary

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The Devils Highway
By Luis Urrea

The book The Devil’s Highway by Luis Urrea is based on a true story.

It tells the tragic story of a group of Mexican immigrants who try to cross

the U.S border. Although many Mexicans have died in the desert trying to

cross the border previously with this particular story is unique in that it was

such a large group that traveled and so many of them died. The title of the

book “Devils Highway” is the name of the part of the desert these men

crossed which is known to be one of the most “deadliest regions on the

continent” and has claimed the lives of many. (Urrea) In 1950 a man known

as Francisco Salazar wrote that Devils Highway “….was a vast graveyard of

unknown dead”.

The book takes you into the tropical area of Veracruz where most of

the men are from and gives you the opportunity to know who they are. Most

of them were small plot farmers looking to work in the U.S in order to better

provide for their families. In addition the book enlightens you on the

smuggling ring which is big business in Mexico. The smuggling ring was

run by the Cercas family out of Phoenix. People such as Don Moi Garcia

who was higher up in the chain would drive his “American car and smoke his American cigarettes” recruiting

people to cross the border. It was a business and the Welton 26 were

charged approximately thirteen thousand pesos or eighteen hundred dollars

per person.

One hot day in May of 2001 26 men known as the Welton 26 set out

to cross the U.S.border into southern Arizona desert along Devils Highway.

The trip was anywhere from 35-65 miles long. Their trip was led by three

guides called guias. The guias earn about $100 to $150 per person. Mendez

aka Jesus Louis Ramos was the lead guide of the Welton 26. The Welton 26

put their trust in this man to get them across and he instead got them lost.

His mistakes in leading them the...
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