The Devil’s Highway

Maradona and Jesús met while working in a brickyard in San Antonio. Frustrated with the minimal pay and the long, backbreaking hours, Jesús was intrigued by Maradona’s side hustle, moonlighting as a pollero. Maradona got Jesús involved in the world of the Cercas gang, and the two worked as partners. On the day of the Wellton 26’s trek, Jesús—at that point using the alias Mendez—was unable to rouse Maradona. Thus, two stand-ins, Lauro and Santos, were called upon to do the job in his place.
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Rodrigo Maradona Character Timeline in The Devil’s Highway

The timeline below shows where the character Rodrigo Maradona appears in The Devil’s Highway. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Jesús Walks Among Us
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Myth, Religion, and The Spirit World Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...in a San Antonio brickyard. He hated the backbreaking work, and, in 2000, met Rodrigo Maradona—a fellow brickyard worker who had an interesting side hustle. Jesús’s testimony would later “shift” away... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
Maradona told Jesús that he was making a thousand dollars a week moonlighting as a Coyote,... (full context)
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
In San Luis, on an early run, Maradona and Jesús loaded illegals onto a long-haul bus to Sonoita. From there they walked the... (full context)
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...a couple of times. His name began cropping up in border reports, and he and Maradona were both transferred from San Luis to Sonoita. The boys decided to make the most... (full context)
Chapter 6: In Sonoita
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
In Sonoita, Jesús and Maradona took rooms in a stinking hovel of a border hotel. El Negro hooked the two... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...in Sonoita by bus, they would stay in one of the fleabag hotels until Mendez, Maradona, Santos, or Lauro met them the night before the run to bring them over to... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Pepsi for the Apocalypse
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...goodbye to his girlfriend, Celia, and heads out onto the stinking street. He goes to Maradona’s house and tries to rouse him by knocking on the front door, but cannot. Mendez... (full context)