The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Overview

Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones), a ranch foreman, employs and eventually befriends a Mexican vaquero named Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cesar Cedillo). Their close camaraderie ends when Mike Norton (Barry Pepper), a psychotic Border Patrolman, shoots and kills Mequiades while in the field. After hastily burying his victim in the high desert of West Texas, Norton and his superiors cover up the crime.

Mequiades is reburied in a public cemetery, but Perkins forces Norton at gunpoint to exhume the body so Mequiades can be buried in Mexico, as per his wishes. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico.