The Devil’s Highway

Santos and Lauro Character Analysis

Santos and Lauro are two Sonoita-based polleros in the Cercas gang. When Jesús arrives in Sonoita, they teach him the treacherous new route he will take across the border. On the morning when the Wellton 26 are set to embark upon their journey out of Sonoita, Jesús is unable to get in touch with Maradona>/span> (the pollero who is supposed to accompany them on the journey), so Santos and Lauro are called in as replacements. After it becomes clear that the group is hopelessly lost, Santos breaks off with a group of five men in a desperate bid to make it back to Mexico alive, but no one ever sees the men from that group again or is able to locate their bodies. Lauro eventually dies of exposure to the elements after Lauro and Jesús break off from the larger group (ostensibly to find help but very likely intending to abandon their pollos).
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Santos and Lauro Character Timeline in The Devil’s Highway

The timeline below shows where the character Santos and Lauro appears in The Devil’s Highway. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: In Sonoita
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
...hooked the two of them up with their “teachers,” who went by the names of Santos and Lauro—though these were only aliases. The new route out of Sonoita was treacherous, but... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...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 a... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Pepsi for the Apocalypse
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...Maradona is either gone or so drunk he can’t be woken, and El Negro calls Santos and Lauro to fill in. Urrea notes that “it says a lot about Maradona that... (full context)
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...safehouse, the walkers are beginning to wake up. They eat a meager breakfast, then Mendez, Santos, and Lauro arrive. The polleros advise the walkers to go over to the store and... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Long Walk
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
...a large U shape. Some of the men have realized how lost they are, and Santos, one of the polleros, suggests they all attempt to head back to Mexico—the journey will... (full context)
Chapter 11: Their Names
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...house.” The González Manzano brothers, Isidro, Mario and Efraín, were a “crazy” group of jokers. Lauro, one of the polleros, was alone—nobody, not even Mendez, ever knew his real name. (full context)
Chapter 12: Broken Promise
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Bearing Witness Theme Icon
...Mendez first told the group he would go alone, then insisted on taking his partner, Lauro. Whether the group “pressed their money on him and asked him to get water, a... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
Mendez and Lauro, meanwhile, are making good time on their own journey north. Urrea speculates that the two... (full context)
Chapter 14: Helicopters
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Mendez and Lauro struggle through the desert on their own. Although they have traversed a great distance in... (full context)
Desolation and Desperation Theme Icon
Myth, Religion, and The Spirit World Theme Icon
Humanity and “Illegality” Theme Icon
...hunt all night for other survivors, Mendez remains asleep under a bush. When he and Lauro are finally found, Lauro is dead. Edgar Adrien Martinez, who has been lying in the... (full context)