This film was another one that was full of violence and killing, but it displayed another controversial topic, homosexuality. The basis of the film was the daily life of an older homosexual man that had a relationships with younger men. The film showed Colombia and the outstanding amount of crime that takes place as assassins roam the streets. The film showed brutal murders and corpses rotting in feilds as if it is completely normal, but to the people of Colombia this is normal. Murder rates are sky high, and the film actually poked fun at the thought of a woman “feeling” for a person that was shot right in front of her eyes. “Innocent” is what she called the victims but Fernando and his boy toy were amused by the woman’s concern. There is a mindset and belief system in Colombia that NO ONE is innocent, and that is the code of the streets. Fernando experienced this first hand when he lost both of his lovers to the streets and the crime that ensued in Medellin due to the Colombian drug wars.
“La Violencia” as referred to by Forrest Hylton was a time when violence became the way of the land. He goes on to say that violence during this time “produced humle victims” and could essentially be found anywhere at anytime. No one could control the amazing amount of violence, and people were killing uncontrollably. Organized crime was a way of life, and if you had the right amount of money assassins could be hired for you to complete a hit. The film is loosely based on real life situations, but just as in the film, people were being hired to kill their enemies. It was not uncommon for shoot outs to occur in public places, just as in the film. People were being gunned down in shopping venues and restaurants as if it is ok. Citizens were used to the violence, and it no longer caused alarm.
“War in Colombia” illustrates the U.S. involvement in Colombia’s conflict involving the drug wars. Drug trafficking was supposed to end with the Andean strategy, but was unsuccessful. Police violence was on the brink, while the film did not illustrate the prescene of police at all. The article discussed how Colombian government lacked the will to go after groups involved with this corruption. This idea parallels with the film in that the government attempted to keep its distance from the “Criminals”- meaning the people that do the dirty work. This is where point Hylton’s about political and criminal violence feeding into one another emerges (65). The violence continued and no one seemed to step in. The military more than likely had deals with the organized criminals not to get involved, which is ultimately what allowed them to continue the crime sprees.
Vargus points out that organized crime was more so a “form of behaviour and a mode of power (107). He believes that the U.S. counterdrug aid probably made matters worse when it came to violence and the military-citizen relationship. He also talks about how citizens were made to pick sides when fighting during “La Violencia.” Innocent people were dragged into these battles more and more on a daily basis. Still there is no action from the military, police force, or anyone of status to control the situation. Vargas also states on pg. 123 that“there is an increasing use of violence” for “resolving personal disputes or obtaining special benefits from individuals” (123). This is true in the film. It seemed that Fernando’s young lover would only kill people when Fernando was upset in return for material objects. This further displays random and senseless killings. Once the killing began it did not stop. There was always another to follow the previouse murder. Colombia continued to spiral out of control and become a blood bath country.