Nothing is known of Esteban's early life. He was likely born in Mexico and at some point turned to a life of crime, coming to the small border town of San Miguel with his brothers as part of their continuous efforts to smuggle alcohol and weapons into the United States.
After the Stranger arrives in town and learns of the feud between the Rojo brothers and Sheriff John Baxter from Silvanito, the local cantina owner, he approaches the Rojo family's compound and announces his desire to be hired by the brothers. Miguel, having overheard Joe's shouting, walks out onto the balcony and watches as the Stranger guns down four of Baxter's men in quick succession. Not wanting trouble from the American gunslinger, Miguel invites Joe to a meeting and offers him $100, but tells him the gang has no immediate need for his services. Joe is shown to his room by Chico, one of Miguel's most trusted men.
Soon after their meeting, Miguel's younger brother Esteban learns of the deal and is enraged. He offers to shoot and kill the American, removing any threat he may pose and retrieving the money in the process. An angered Miguel chastises his brother for his inability to think things through, and explains that Joe is more valuable as an ally. Nonetheless, Joe has overheard the conversation and feels uncomfortable within the Rojo family compound, with him packing up his things and leaving.
Later, after Joe kills nearly half a dozen of the Rojos' men at the small house and rescues Ramón's hostage, Marisol, the American is captured and brutalised by the Rojo brothers and their men. Miguel is also present when the gang sets fire to the Baxter family house and brutally massacres anyone attempting to flee the flames. Joe manages to escape the Rojo family estate and witnesses the killings from within a coffin, as the undertaker Piripero smuggles him out of town.
The next day, Joe returns to San Miguel wearing a metal plate over his chest, knowing that Ramón always aims for the heart. He stuns the Rojo brothers and their surviving henchmen by walking away unfazed from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. After a brief confrontation, Joe draws on the gang and cuts down Miguel along with a majority of the surviving gunmen. Esteban appears in a nearby window, armed with a shotgun and intent on shooting the Stranger in the back. However, Silvanito rushes to his aid, shooting Esteban dead and causing him to fall from the window.
|Characters in A Fistful of Dollars|
|The Baxters and associates||Antonio Baxter · Consuela Baxter · John Baxter|
|The Rojos and associates||Alvaro · Chico · Esteban Rojo · Fausto · Manolo · Martín · Miguel · Miguel Rojo · Paco · Paquito · Ramón Rojo · Rubio · Vincente|
|San Miguel residents||Jesus · Juan de Dios · Julio · Marisol · Piripero · Silvanito|