The 2000 film, La Virgen de los Sicaros, tells a story of an older man, Fernando, returning to his home, Medelin, to retire only to be shocked at the drastic changes that have taken place. Fernando had been gone from Medelin for 30 years. During this time there was a rise in drugs, killings, disrespect, and poverty. In the beginning Fernando questioned his friend, Alexis, as to why the fire works were going off. His answer was that it was because of the successful transport of cocaine from Cuba to America. Fernando seemed a little shocked, but was not appealed. He could never have predicted what he was going to witness during the days to come.
Walking out to the store Fernando sees a man shoot another man because he tried to mug him and it didn’t go as he had planned. Fernando not only was shocked to witness this, but looked up and around to notice no one else was shocked. After this incident Fernando began seeing many more problems like this. Alexis even shot people right in front of Fernando when he was upset with someone. Fernando tried to talk to Alexis about his problem. He tried to explain that just because he wanted to shoot someone didn’t mean he should act on it. Fernando said that’s what made people civilized.
According to the article War in Colombia, edited by Micheal Evans, the United States has long tried to stay out of the drug wars in Colombia because of the many other things they would have to get involved with. It seems that with the presence of the drugs there is violence and thus poverty. The shocking part is that all of this came into play in just a matter of 30 short years. By the way people acted in to the film, ignoring the shootings, it was obvious that none of this was a new thing. The people were not in any way reactive, just avoiding of the problems and mishaps, almost like if they ignored it – it would not effect them.
Overall it was very obvious that people were just confused about their roles in society. They felt they had a right to judge whether a person deserved to live or die. They made quick decisions and felt little remorse. Ricardo Vargas’ article, State, Esprit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict in Colombia, has a section that discusses the conflict people were in. Drug trafficking is illegal and people looked down on it, but once that person was out of the business they would still spend that “illegally” made money and people would accept it. It just seems overall there is confusion that surrounds the citizens, a battle between their only known lifestyle and their moral code within.