La Virgen de los Sicaros follows the experience of Fernando and his involvement with Alexis a younger boy from the city of Medellin who is involved with one of the many violent gangs in the area. Alexis, although only 16, is an extremely violent character. Instead of dealing with any conflict, no matter how trivial, he instead chooses to shoot the person who has offended him. The point of the film that resonates with viewers after it ends is the amount of open violence present in the streets. There are robberies and killings over trivial matters such as a perceived personal affront, the atmosphere of the city can be defined as chaos. This ensued after the death of Pablo Escobar, when the city had become the world’s drug capitol and there was no control over the rival gangs to maintain any semblance of order. The sense of lawlessness that is present in Medellin, Colombia is appalling. How people act and the lack of control in the area is reminiscent of another time, not the 21st century.
This problem is more deeply rooted than just the drug cartels in Colombia though. The violence stems from the guerillas associated with these cartels. The violence from drug cartels was a major social and political issue. The article from the National Security Archives database stated that because the drug cartels were so closely involved with the guerillas it was impossible to differentiate which unit you were fighting. Therefor the Army had been forced to simultaneously fight the two threats at the same time. This made it difficult to combat the drug trade. This instability in Colombia made it extremely difficult to govern the nation. Since there was extreme instability within the government as well the guerillas were able to take over, paramilitary groups emerged creating an even more war-torn, violent environment.
Although the amount of violence that accompanies the drug trade is extreme, economically drug production and trafficking has positive outcomes on the areas economies. In the article State, Esprit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict in Colombia, by Ricardo Vargas he discusses the drug trades effect on the Colombian economy and how it made it possible for new economic growth that didn’t require government involvement. Unfortunately, this form of income and has turned the nation of Colombia into a cesspool of corruption, immorality and violence. In the film fireworks were shot off in Medellin. The reason? A shipment of drugs had made it across the United States border. When people celebrate because an illegal activity has been successfully executed something is wrong.
The film is an excellent portrayal of the violence that is present throughout everyday life in Medellin, Colombia. While it showed an interesting perspective, following the love story of a gay man, allowing them to show different social aspects in the society, it was random and I would have enjoyed seeing more about the gang’s organization. It was interesting to see the society’s organization and how these young boys had been forced to become so violent.