La virgen de los sicarios is about an elderly homosexual man, named Fernando, that copes with a lot of inner struggles. He returned back to his home in Medellin Colombia only to be appalled at the level of violence that was created because of the growing drug trade. He was perplexed at how people saw this violence as a norm in Colombia; they saw it as a part of normal everyday life. In Medellin, he meets and falls in love with Alexis, a homosexual teenager. However, he finds out that Alexis is an assassin (sicario) and is helping to perpetuate the violence in Medellin. Alexis is son murdered, and Fernando finds another young homosexual who is also an assassin. (Forrest Hylton in “Evil Hour in Colombia” explains that Medellin was famous for its teenage assassins.)At the end of the movie, Fernando is depressed by the state of affairs in Medellin as well as in his own life and the film hints that he commits suicide.
Colombia has a long history of insecurity and violence. As Vargas Explains in “”, “The Premodern structure of Colombia’s state is found in its weak capacity to control territory and exercise a monopoly of force in both the city and the countryside” (Vargas 109). Colombia’s central government has never had complete control of the country. Vargas explains that drug trafficking has only made this fragmented centralized power worse. Colombia has also numerous civil wars and is home to a myriad of paramilitary and guerilla groups like the ELN and the FARC. The drug trade only heightened these social tensions starting with the marijuana trade in the 1960s. The marijuana trade influenced politics because the most influential families were involved (113). The same later held true for the Cocaine business in Colombia.
More importantly, the government has long excluded peasants from participation in politics. They were politically and economically marginalized. Vargas explains that drug trafficking was often beneficial for the rural poor. “Drug trafficking is situating itself as to capitalize on an eventual reordering of power by the state. At the same time, traffickers continue to seek to legitimize their social power, just as they do with the capital obtained from trafficking, which is usually laundered through legitimate businesses in the rural sector. Private power is thus being used to create a new public order” (Vargas 109).
The United States has only perpetuated this culture of violence in Colombia. Hyltone explains that the US interest Colombia has solely focused on narcotrafficking since Reagan’s war on drugs (Hyltone 74). The United State has consistently increased its intervention in Colombia in the name of drug trafficking (Hylton 74, Vargas 125). This intervention has only further caused social divides in Colombia as well as perpetuated the lack of government power. The US gave tons of aid to the Colombian government in order to combat drug trafficking, as well as fight the guerilla groups. The US government also encouraged “Colombian military officials to ignore human rights conditions on US aid” (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB69/). The US openly supported military control to solve the issues in Colombia. But Vargas explains that, “it is worth remembering that a purely military approach that does not recognize the complex intersection of interests and local conditions behind armed conflict, evident in places such as a Madadalena and Putumayo, in unlikely to succed” (Vargas 125). In La virgen de los sicarios, The strange story of Alexis and Fernando’s next lover, who murdered Alexis represents the complexity of the violence in Colombia. Although the film does not give much historical background of the issues in Colombia, it does give insight to public response and participation in the high levels of violence in Colombia.