La Virgen de los Sicarios

 La Virgen de los Sicarios, directed by Barbet Schroeder, is a film that portrays a society that is controlled by the success of the gangs involved in the cocaine business. The film takes place in Medellin which is one of the cocaine capitols in South America. The film stars Fernando, a writer, who returns to his hometown of Medellin to die, and Alexis who is a hit man for one of the gangs within Medellin. The story ends in tragedy because of the violence that is caused by the gangs in the film.
Ricardo Vargas wrote in his paper titled State, Espirit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict, that “The mafia is a medieval sentiment that arises from a belief that an individual can be assured the protection and integrity of their person and property through their own worth and influence, independent of the actions of the authorities or the law” (Vargas 108). This quote ties to the characters of Alexis and Wilmar in the film. Both Alexis and Wilmar rely upon themselves to live another day. Both boys will kill anyone that stands in the way of each of them finishing the job at hand. The job at hand, although not necessarily violent, can become violent at any point in time. Vargas also states that “to achieve success in life, one must have the valor to oppose authority and if necessary the law, or at least support those who can do so and not suffer formal legal consequences” (Vargas 108). This rings true in the film. Alexis governs his own life by killing anyone who does not agree with the philosophy that he has been raised upon. From the encounter Fernando has when he sees a man shot for not turning over his keys, to the killings of innocent people like Alexis and Wilmar, there are no authority figures upholding the laws that would protect the average citizen of Medellin.  This is an issue because the lack of a presence of law enforcement leads to more violence. “The lack of legitimate institutions to resolve conflicts and the fact that many of those involved in the drug trade came from lower class sectors previously denied access to the regions sources of wealth led to an unprecedented wave of violence” (Vargas 113). Cocaine is a profitable business, and many people jumped at the chance to get a piece of the pie. Alexis is a hired assassin for one of the main gangs in Medellin, and when the audience sees how his family lives, it is easy to see why someone would see a gang as an answer to prayer.
Vargas also details the issues with gang leaders. Often time they would run for political office. Often times winning. Thus placing these leaders in important positions where they are able to bypass normal laws in lieu of their “special circumstances.” Historically there were guerillas and insurgents that were fighting throughout Colombia as well. The guerillas job was to “overthrow Conservative government, not establish a new society” (Hylton 42). This plays a role in how the societies they created interacting with the guerrillas .
La Violencia was a time that created different norms. There were children walking around with “blessed bullets” and religious articles of jewelry when there were killlers around everywhere in the city.
Ultimately,  La virgen de los Sicarios, exemplifies the gang life of those living in the city of Medellin.