The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada


There's some coyotes hopping around

across the road from that windmill.

What are they doing?

Hell, l don't know.

Looks like they're eating

something, l guess.

Wanna shoot a coyote?

Hell, yes.

That's a dead son of a b*tch.


-When did they find him?

-Sometime this morning.

He was buried on a hill

near Boracho Peak.

-Who killed him?

-No f***ing clue.

Was he involved with drugs

or smuggling or anything like that?

Melquiades Estrada?


l gotta get a mask.

Jo Edna, let Earl tend to the

hot dogs and the hamburgers.

He'll bring the charcoal and ice...

...and folding chairs

and the whole nine yards.

Just be sure Minnie

don't have to worry...

...about a place to go

to the little girls' room.

And tell Shawnelle she can forget

about a car on Saturday night...

...if she don't show up.

l love you too, baby. Gotta go.

This beauty has two bedrooms,

each one with its own bathroom.

Central AC and heat throughout.

All of our homes come standard

equipped with electric oven...

...washer, drier and dishwasher.

Your Waste King garbage

disposal is optional, of course.

lt's a good option because

we charge the wholesale price on it...

...with no installation fee,

and it's top of the line.

We're strictly top of the line.

Strictly top of the line

all the time. That's our motto.

-How much this house cost?

-Sixty thousand dollars.

But if you're really interested...

...l can get you a

1 0 percent discount, l think.

Where y'all from?


Long way from home, huh?

-What line of work bring you to Texas?

-Border Patrolman.

We're always

a long way from home.

Yeah. All right.

Well, actually, this mobile

residence has the highest...

...resale value of any domestic

residence in its price range... the Southwest

time and time again.

l don't know.

Well, we also have some excellent

previously owned mobile residences... the lower price ranges

if that would be your requirement.

Come over here, Sparky.

lt's a good thing

you can do something else.

l think my horse needs water.

Where'd you come from?


What are you doing in Texas?

Looking for work.

What kind of work?

l'm just a cowboy.

Hey, Perkins.

Here's the stuff that your

friend had on him.

-You know who they are?

-That's his wife and kids.

-Any idea how to get ahold of them?

-Well, they live in...


Can l keep this?

Yeah, l guess for a while. We're

gonna have to do an autopsy on him.

When you get through,

l want you to give Melquiades to me.

-Hell, l can't do that. Are you crazy?


l'm not.

Gotta go.

-All right, see you tonight.

-Come back early, though.

l get real bored here.

Haven't you made

friends with the neighbors?

No, l don't like them.

l'm gonna buy you Nintendo

so you don't get so bored.


And take me to the mall

this Saturday in Odessa.

Okay, babe. Find out where it is.

The deceased died of a gunshot

wound of an AR-1 5 .223 bullet.

Entered 2 inches left of the sternum

between the fourth and fifth rib.

lmpact caused a lung to burst.

Severe hemorrhaging.

Took 1 5, 20 minutes to die.

l would estimate

he died seven days ago.

The trajectory indicates that the shot

was fired from 300 yards away.

He was gunned down.

Listen, bud, we need

to bury him now.

Refrigeration in this dump is broke,

and l gotta be in El Paso tomorrow.

-Okay, bury him.

-l need to notify his relatives.

He ain't got any.

Two-one-seven, clear.

Three-five-nine, clear.

This is 7 49.

I have approximately 1 5 individuals

crossing La Brecha de la Loma Negra.

About a half a mile from me. Over.

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Guillermo Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga Jordán is a Mexican author, screenwriter, director and producer. Self-defined as "a hunter who works as a writer," he is best known for his BAFTA-nominated script for 21 Grams and his ... more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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