La Virgen de los Sicaros

La Virgen de los Sicaros is a film about murders in Colombia, but focuses specifically about an older man who returned to Medellin and his newfound exposure to violence and murder as a result of drug warfare. The film is very unique in its casual representation of gay lifestyle in Latin America and the very unsettling relationship between a 50 year old man named Fernando and a young boy named Alexis who leads his life with many instances of violence theft in his wake until he himself is murdered, a year later by “The Blue Lagoon”, a young man named Wilmar who Fernando would eventually become entangled with.  After this instance we see how deep these murders go, senseless killings lead to vengeance killings, which lead to even more senseless murders. This is the case with Wilmar, he killed Alexis because he(Alexis) killed Wilmar’s brother. Fernando vowed to escape this and take Wilmar with him, however Wilmar dies shortly before they leave. This is where Fernando realizes that there can be no happiness regarding Medellin at all, and finally kills himself. One curious note in the film was the minimal reference to drugs, we knew there was violence, and we knew it was in Colombia, but there were no Griselda Blanco’s or her hitmen around, it was an understanding that if you killed someone then you could get money if there was a bounty on their heads like with the police or the military.

We see today, as evidenced by National Security Archives article that even into the early 2000s drug cartel warfare is still a huge problem in Colombian Society, due largely in part to the paramilitary groups being more powerful than the state government itself. The Vargas article explains it further when it goes into the mafia style society where personal violence (or fear of it) is used to exercise control over the area. This hearkens back to situations similar to what we saw in Cidade de Deus, where the government is weak to control violence and the way that life is structured is based upon the fear of unprovoked violence or murder. As we saw in La Virgen de los Sicaros, a man could have been killed for something as simple or non threatening as whistling, being accused of stealing the songs of the birds and depriving them of their own voices. Something as irrelevant as whistling leading to a potential shootout (if we recall, both the aggressor and the accuser had firearms in this instance) is ridiculous—such hostility over things that aren’t a matter of honor or money is inexplicable if we consider it from the modern American perspective that we hold today.