The “pollero,” or smuggler, of the Wellton 26, Jesús was just nineteen at the time of the ordeal, and had been swept up in the “gangster” lifestyle of border smuggling by his close friend, Rodrigo Maradona. Jesús was identifiable by the “rooster-like” swoop of red-dyed hair which hung in front of his face. Though Jesús—who adopted the alias “Mendez” once he began working out of San Luis—saw himself as a badass, a revolutionary, and a Coyote, he was actually more on the level of the “pollos” he was charged with transporting through the desert. Though Mendez’s exact thoughts and motives will never be known because of his refusal to testify, it appears that he attempted to steal his pollos’ money and abandon them to die after becoming hopelessly lost in the wilds of the Cabeza Prieta.
Jesús Antonio Lopez Ramos/“Mendez” Quotes in The Devil’s Highway
The The Devil’s Highway quotes below are all either spoken by Jesús Antonio Lopez Ramos/“Mendez” or refer to Jesús Antonio Lopez Ramos/“Mendez”. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown and Company edition of The Devil’s Highway published in 2004.).
Chapter 12 Quotes
They agreed to stick together and walk north. All of them. It had to be north. Mendez had gone north, the bastard, and he was saving himself. They’d follow Mendez. Once more, the men stood, and they walked. Now the illegals were cutting for sign.
Jesús Antonio Lopez Ramos/“Mendez” Character Timeline in The Devil’s Highway
The timeline below shows where the character Jesús Antonio Lopez Ramos/“Mendez” appears in The Devil’s Highway. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: El Guía
...innumerable “heinous” stories of walkers being abandoned, abused, or otherwise compromised by their polleros. In Mendez’s letter to the court, he insists that, when setting out on the Wellton 26’s journey,... (full context)
Chapter 5: Jesús Walks Among Us
Chapter 6: In Sonoita
Chapter 7: A Pepsi for the Apocalypse
Chapter 8: Bad Step at Bluebird
Chapter 9: Killed by the Light
Chapter 10: The Long Walk
Chapter 12: Broken Promise
Chapter 14: Helicopters
Chapter 15: Aftermath
...of what they should say—and some are still acting insane from the walk. Nahum identifies Mendez, “the guy with the rooster hair,” as the pollero who abandoned them, despite refusing to... (full context)
Chapter 16: Home
...tells them that they are “heroes of the republic.” Meanwhile, American guards keep watch over Mendez like “valuable prey.” Mendez knows his life is over, though he is only nineteen years... (full context)