This weeks film La Virgen de Los Sacaros depicts the everyday violence that the people of Columbia experienced on an everyday bases for decades. The story line of this film is based on the published work of the main character and his experiences in the city of Medellin. There are a few aspects of this film including the issue and treatment of homosexuals, but that is merely a background subject compared to the violence issue and the mafia/drug cartel issue. While the movie focuses on the violence that resulted in the aftermath of the downfall of the local drug cartels the history of this countries violence is more deeply embedded in them going back even further in history.
One thought that came to mind while watching this movie was; what is worse the fact that all of this violence is occurring or the fact that the people themselves had an abnormal and oblivious reaction to people being killed right in front of them? In Hylton’s reading the possible reason for the peoples uncommon reaction could be explained throughout their long and painfully violent history. In his article he discussed the violent beginnings of the early 1900′s during the thousand days war when peasant armies were formed by the liberals and conservatives to fight and one in every twenty-five people were killed. From this time on the violence in this country lingered, through government struggles and drug wars the city has just become unaffected by killing. The killing and assassinating that resulted from drug dealings turned to killing for revenge, respect, convenience, and what seems to be just for fun. These people are hardened to the human emotions that come with killing and no longer see the negative moral implications that come with it, which is what the main character try’s to teach his lover throughout the movie.
There are many reasons that this kind of violence is occurring and most of it stems back to the government and its lack of stability and power. For a country with a weak government it is easily taken over by crime and corruption because that provides more stability than was currently offered like Vargas’s article discusses. The setting for this movie is during the post-Medellin cartel era when former and rival employees of the cartel are still going at it with each other for reasons having nothing to do with drugs anymore. Without the drug cartels and still having no strong or even hardly present government people are killing at will and it’s basically chaos. The United States has stepped in and tried to aid Colombia as discussed in the first article. However until the Bush administration aid was just going towards the prevention of drug production/trafficking, but has now been turned towards the protection against gorilla warfare. However, after the Bush administration switched the objective of the aid the lines started getting more and more blurry between the two subjects and is causing direct conflict with the country. Hopefully there will be a resolution to this violence so that the innocent don’t have to suffer.