The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Quotes


"I don't have to notify you about a goddamn thing. He was a wetback."

Sheriff Belmont

Belmont says this to Pete after Pete finds out that Melquiades has been buried and the sheriff didn't notify him like he said he would. This quote is at the heart of this film as it speaks of the lack of regard for human life that they sheriff has for Melquiades because he is undocumented. The sheriff does not value people the same as Pete does.

"Hey don't mix things up darling, you're the one I love. Belmont's something else."

Rachel to Pete

Rachel tells Pete she loves him, but it's clear that her affections are not directed at a single man. They are spread out amongst multiple lovers. We see that Pete wants her love to be directed solely at him, but she is not capable of this.

"He killed Melquiades Estrada."


Pete speaks this line to Lou Ann in Spanish after kidnapping Mike and tying her up. The significance of him speaking it in Spanish is that it gives great weight and meaning to Melquiades life. That every life must be valued, not just legal immigrants or U.S. residents.

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