The Devil's Highway Questions and Answers
by Luis Alberto Urrea

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What are some different examples that Urrea gives of the Devil's Highway swallowing up those who try to cross or inhabit it?

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In his book, which details the true story of a hazardous stretch of Sonora desert on the U.S./Mexico border known as the "Devil's Highway," Luis Alberto Urrea begins by recounting a story concerning a group of men who recently perished there. He then backtracks to the earliest recorded account of a fatality that occurred in the same area which would eventually inspire its nickname. Later in his account, Urrea then returns to the initial story to fully explain what befell the men who perished.

By 1541, a small settlement called Sonoita had become a stopping point for Spaniards pushing north from Mexico City, which was more than a thousand miles to the south. Melchor Diaz was the head of one Spanish patrol. Urrea speculates that Diaz had heard that the zone he must cross was "the most hellish stretch of land in the entire north." Stories of people disappearing had already begun circulating. The Spaniards "commonly believed that the natives of the Devil’s Highway devoured human children....

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