La virgen de los sicarios tells the story of a gay writer, Fernando, who returns to Medellin, Colombia after many years away from his home. Shortly after his return, he meets a young hitman, Alexis, at a party and eventually falls in love with him. His memory of Medellin is completely different from the city Alexis grew up in. After the end of Escobar’s reign, the city became a warzone between different drug gangs without organization. It was not unusual to see crime in the streets in broad daylight, as portrayed in the film. At first, Fernando is nontheless shocked by all the crime around him, but eventually he becomes use to it and sees it as another daily activity. This city of four million people is now the drug capitol of the world.
The plot thickens when Alexis is murdered by another hitman, and a few months later Fernando unknowingly falls in love with the same hitman, Wilmar, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Alexis. At the end of the film, all chance for happiness is gone for Fernando when Wilmar is killed and only the sad reality of Medellin remains. In the final scene, Fernando returns to his dark and lonely apartment and draws the curtains, symbolic of his loneliness and the despair of losing two great loves to the tragic realities of Medellin. According to Forrest Hylton, “when the paramailitary movement gathered momentum, homincide had already become the leading cause of death among males” (75). Armed resistance grew significantly and contributed to it’s own weaknesses after the era of Pablo Escobar, when violence ran amuck throughout the country.
“Continual civil wars among civilian elites mobilized private local armies” (109) explains Ricardo Vargas in describing the events that came after the end of the Escobar era. Nationalism was weak at the time, and so was military force and judicial influence. The combination of all these factors explains the incapacity for the state to gain control at this time. The movie portrays the citizens of Medellin to be consumed by impetuous violence everyday and because of this they are numb to it’s very existence. When someone is shot down in the street, no one comes to their aid. There is no police force and it was a little surprising to see the cab driver allow Alexis into his vehicle to be driven to the hospital after he was gunned down and bleeding. There is an overall feeling of apathy towards the level of crime going on, as if everyone has accepted their fate is simply waiting to die.