La Virgen de los Sicarios

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The film <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">La Virgen de los Sicarios</i>, translated <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Our Lady of the Assassins</i>, is based on the autobiography of Fernando Vallejo during his return to his hometown of Medellin after being away for thirty years.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Directed by Barbet Schroeder, the film shows how Fernando found Medellin to be a very violent city.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Fernando meets a young boy named Alexis at a party, and the two become a couple.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Fernando soon found out that Alexis was an assassin in a gang, and during their time together Alexis kills numerous citizens for the slightest signs of disrespect for himself or Fernando.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Later in the film, Alexis himself is subject to his lifestyle, and is gunned down by two boys on a motorcycle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>After a time of mourning, Fernando meets another young boy (also an assassin) named Wilmar.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They fall in love, but later it is revealed to Fernando that Wilmar was Alexis’ assassin.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He vows to kill Wilmar, but is unable.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Wilmar continues the circle, and is assassinated by another gang in the city before the two can escape the city.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Although this is a film based on a true story, it presents an accurate image of the high rate of violence that occurs in Colombia.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The drug trade at this time created friction between gangs, which lead to the birth of the assassins, who targeted opposing gangs, to gain territory, power, influence, and money.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When one gang would rise to power, they placed the target on their own back for the other gangs to knock off and gain control.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In this way, the cycle repeated for over a century in the making.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Drug cartels mostly controlled Colombia as early as the sixties, which birthed the future generations to follow in their path.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>After some time, there was the development of an “informal sector, in which more than half the Columbian proletariat would be toiling by 1985”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(Hylton, 62).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This coincided with the rise of cocaine use and trafficking cartels into the United States (Hylton 64).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Violence was “stimulated beyond risk, by remote control” due to the demand of cocaine in the United States.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The film did not mention drug usage, but focused mostly on the hired assassins who roamed the streets ready and willing to gun down anyone who doesn’t belong.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If it was an enemy, good.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If it was a civilian, they probably were not so innocent either.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>These public shootings became so frequent that the public grew a tolerance to it, and it was accepted as part of their culture.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A major cartel leader Pablo Escobar funded thousands of assassins in Colombia and was mentioned in the film also.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When assassins began killing, it started the process that would never end.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The privatizing of violence was used by cartel leaders for social control, to exercise their powers, and it strengthened their territorial control of the illegal, globalized market (Vargas 107-9).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Eventually, Pablo was assassinated also, but another one soon took his place.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The CIA noted in a report about Colombia’s Paramilitaries gaining strength that the Colombian government did very little to stop the cycle, which allowed the high murder rates of cities like Medellin to go unanswered (21).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>With no government to try and stop the cartels, the images Fernando saw in Medellin continued to occur with its own way of justice. </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>