The Devil’s Highway

The Mexican consul in Calexico, Vargas was called to Yuma on the day the Wellton 26 were found. Because Yuma had no consulate at that time, Calexico was responsible for the Yuma sector. Vargas, a “no-nonsense consul who brooked no foolishness,” was a tireless and necessary advocate for the survivors as well as the dead. Vargas herself accompanied the bodies of the Yuma 14 to examination and preparation in Phoenix, and then arranged for a cargo jet to take them all back to Mexico. She flew with them, and lamented the fact that all the money it took to get them home—nearly seventy-thousand U.S. dollars—could have made an astounding difference in the lives of these individuals had it simply been invested in their villages’ futures in the first place.
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Rita Vargas Character Timeline in The Devil’s Highway

The timeline below shows where the character Rita Vargas appears in The Devil’s Highway. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Aftermath
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
By 11:30 a.m. on the 23rd, Rita Vargas—the Mexican consul in Calexico—is on the case. Because Yuma, “and by extension Wellton,” had no... (full context)
Myth, Religion, and The Spirit World Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
Rita Vargas arrives to supervise the police interrogations, while still hounding Mexican officials and warning them to... (full context)
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
The bodies of the dead are shipped to medical examiners in Tuscon. Rita Vargas accompanies them. Urrea describes the “cool, smooth, speedy” ride the bodies take. It is relaxed... (full context)
Chapter 16: Home
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Myth, Religion, and The Spirit World Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...are flown home to Veracruz. When the plane lands and begins taxiing to the terminals, Vargas notices that there are crowds of people waiting on the tarmac. Veracruz had “created a... (full context)