La virgen de los sicarios

The film, La virgen de los sicarios, though was mainly focused on an elderly homosexual man and his misfortune with relationships, had a strong backdrop of the crime in Colombia. Both of Fernando’s lovers were killed because of the unrestrained violence that had erupted in the streets of Medellin due to the drug industry wars.  People killed each other in the streets for petty arguments because of their previous occupations as assassins. Everyone was guilty and therefore these murderers justified their actions by having the mindset that everyone deserved to die because no one was innocent. This film protests the violence destroying Colombia and its citizens.

According to Forrest Hylton, “La Violencia” (1946-57), seemed to be mirrored in this film. Hylton talks of this era as a time when violence was unleashed and was “unchanged, ordered, and stimulated beyond risk, by remote control”. He goes into detail about how this time period “produced humble victims”. During this area organized crime ran the streets and people were paid to kill the enemy of their employer. The film took place in the aftermath of this terror of hired assassins. In the movie, these hit men were now roaming the streets and were killing their old enemies every opportunity they had. Random shoot outs in public became common and Colombia citizens became use to it and the murders did not affect them much. During the film, when the woman screamed that an innocent had been killed, it was odd to the men that she was so upset. Murder was so common that most people were unaffected by a stranger getting shot to death in front of their eyes. The film was engrossed with violence. Violence was the Colombian’s culture. When the boy, “Pest”, told Fernando that he got his girlfriend pregnant, what he was most happy about was having a kid to avenge him if he were to get killed.

In Ricardo Vargas’ article he states that during “La Violencia”, citizens were ascribed to one side of the fight or the other, making them legitimate targets.  This pulled innocent victims into the body count. In the film, random people get shot because they were standing beside the wrong people. They also get shot because the gun men see them as enemies because these citizens live in a different part of town then who they work or worked for. In the film, state control is absent and the condition of Colombia is almost as bad as it was during “La Violencia”.

In the War in Colombia article it states that the “U.S. aid has blurred the lines between counterdrug and counterinsurgency to the point that the U.S. is on the brink of direct confrontation with the guerrillas and ever deeper involvement in Colombia’s seemingly intractable civil conflict”. The Andean strategy was suppose to stop the drug trafficking into the United States, however, many reports of police violence due to this counteraction surfaced in Colombia. In the film, there seemed to be no presence of the police force seen. Fireworks would be shot off to celebrate a successful drug delivery to the United States, but law enforcement prevention was completely absent in the movie. People shot people daily and it appeared that no one was ever convicted for their crimes. “CIA and other intelligence reports from the late 1990s on the notorious Colombian paramilitaries suggested that the Colombian government lacked the will to go after these groups”. This seemed true in the movie. The government was not dealing with the violence or putting a noticeable effort into stopping it from continuing. In fact the only time the military is mentioned is when Fernando buys Alexis ammunition from his military friend. This indicates that the military was not trying to fix the violence problem but was helping fuel the assassins. Ricardo Vargas stresses that the US counterdrug aid had seemed to only worsen the violence and the military-citizen relationship. Due to the type of preventions the local law enforcement uses against the drug cartels, innocent people are being killed, turning Colombia into the world’s most dangerous countries.