La Virgen de los Sicarios

The film, La Virgen de los Sicarios, centers on the relationship between an older man who has come back to his hometown of Medellin to die and his young lover Alexis.  The director uses the story of this love affair to describe the violence and chaos of Medellin’s streets due to the increasing drug trade.  The people of Medellin are so used to murders and shoot outs that they take cover when the shooting begins and continue on with their daily lives when it is over.  In it is noticeable in the film that police or law enforcement of any kind is never seen.  This indicates the complete lack of state/government involvement to put an end to the violence.  Once we see a representative of the military, but it is only Fernando buys amunnition for Alexis from a military buddy.  This just emphasizes that corruption and absolute lack of control of the goverment of Colombia.  Ricardo Vargas states that this period in Colombia’s history mirrors the time of La Violencia, when guerilla units were set up by both the Colombian Liberal Party and the Colombian Communist Party to fight the Colombian Conservative Party.  It is similar in that everyone is assigned a side and often it was a conscious choice anyone made.  Often it had to do with knowing the wrong people or living on the wrong side of town and this is how innocent people were constantly dragged into the fighting.  In the film it is said that there are no innocent people, everyone is on one side or another.

It would seem that Fernando is drawn to this violence.  In fact it is what originally brought him back to Medellin.  His sister who was married to a very wealthy mafioso died and left her apartment and a lot of money to Fernando.  Despite all the violence and his own lover’s involvment in the gangs and killings he stays and even aids in the assasinations carried out by Alexis by getting him ammunition.  Then when Alexis is gunned down on the street, Fernando vows to find his murderer and avenge his death.  He meets Wilmar who is resembles Alexis so much that Fernando invites him to lunch and begins an affair with him.  Wilmar’s own life ends in the same way Alexis’s did.  Before he dies Fernando learns that it was Wilmar who killed Alexis, but for what seems to be a valid reason.  I believe that the striking resemblance between the two doys and their similar deaths is symbolic of the fact that this violence is unedning and cyclic.  No matter how many innocents and young people die there will always be more just like them ready to replace and keep the body count rising.  Colombia is “a country in which the failure to make a social revolution had made violence the constant, universal, and omniscient core of public life (Hylton 31).

Even the U.S.’s involvement has only seemed to make matters worse.  “U.S. aid has blurred the lines between counterdrug and counterinsurgency to the point that the U.S. is on the brinnk of direct confrontation with the guerillas and even deeper involvment in Colombia’s seemingly intractable civil conflict,” as stated in the article “War in Colombia.”