The Devil’s Highway

Daniel Cercas/“El Chespiro” Character Analysis

The Hidalgo-based head of the criminal gang which smuggled the Wellton 26 over the border. His nickname was derived from a “cloying little red cricket” which was a popular character on Mexican childrens’ TV. All money the gang received and spent went through El Chespiro. He kept in contact with those below him only via cell phone in order to maintain a sense of mystery and power.
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Daniel Cercas/“El Chespiro” Character Timeline in The Devil’s Highway

The timeline below shows where the character Daniel Cercas/“El Chespiro” appears in The Devil’s Highway. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: In Veracruz
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...Moi lowered his rate to thirteen thousand pesos. Don Moi worked with his fearsome boss, Chespiro, to offer the men loans, knowing that Chespiro’s wrath was such that they would be... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...“drove from town to town,” adding desperate men to his roster, and called his boss Chespiro to report that things were “going well.” (full context)
Chapter 3: The Coyote and the Chicken
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...the Wellton 26 into the desert. Daniel worked in Mexico and was known as El Chespiro—Luis worked in Phoenix, and had a vast network of contacts all across the States. The... (full context)
Chapter 5: Jesús Walks Among Us
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Myth, Religion, and The Spirit World Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...Jesús’s testimony would later “shift” away from this narrative, though, and towards one in which “Chespiro himself appeared like the devil in the brickyard and whispered temptations” in Jesús’s ear. (full context)