La virgen de los sicaros

Our Lady of the Assassins” is an odd and very depressing love story about a man named Fernando and his lover Alexis, a young boy who tends to be a bit trigger happy. Fernando is an older man who has been jaded by the world and seems to hate absolutely everything in it except for sex. He says to Alexis, “You can’t live without sex. People go crazy without sex. Look how nutty the Pope’s become.” However he soon meets Alexis on his return to Colombia and finds someone in this world to love. Alexis is a gun toting 16 year old who finds that the best solution to solving a problem is to just shoot someone. He is completely a product of his upbringing and the world around him. Hylton starts the third chapter on page 31 with a quote from Eric Hobsbawm, “…I discovered a country in which the failure to make a social revolution had made violence the constant, universal, and omnipresent core of public life,” and while this relates back to his section on the 30’s and 40’s it holds true throughout the history of Colombia. Vargas even says on page 123, “Values such as vengeance and the violent settling of scores are an increasing part of everyday life.”
Both articles by Hylton and Vargas constantly refer back to the instability of the government and the lack of control that the government seemed to have. Both make it clear that even though there was a government in Colombia, there was really no one to govern anyone and that is where the guerrillas came into play. The insurgency of guerrillas brought about paramilitary groups. Both who decided to take it upon themselves to govern the areas that states were not controlling properly and between themselves created a war. the fuel to this fire was the drug cartel which seems to have sparked the entirety of Colombia into life. Each group could manipulate local elections to run in their favor and would slowly supplant the system into getting themselves legitimate power. Even the drug traffickers could legitimize themselves buy buying land properly. (Vargas 123).
All of this chaos and lack of government is quite evident in Our Lady of the Assassins. Alexis was brought up in a Colombia where you were paid for every enemy you killed by Escobar and it became the norm for young boys to go around killing each other for the heck of it or because someone higher up the food chain told them too. When a country’s main export is an illegal substance, values can sometime get skewed and things like shooting off fireworks when a shipment gets into the US becomes a normal activity. It seems as if the government of Colombia would get it’s stuff together and actually govern it’s people and have ways set in place to resolve conflicts, than these guerrilla and paramilitary groups wouldn’t need to exist or have any role in Colombian life. Then maybe killing would not be the norm and Alexis might have survived to move away with Fernando…
“‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Why? Taking someone’s life is doing them a favor. A huge favor. Let them live. It’s what they deserve.”