La virgen de los sicaros

La virgen de los sicaros was yet another movie filled to the brim with violence, except it was difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for it.  Alexis, the 16-year-old boy who seemed all too gun-happy, would suddenly kill someone on the street for apparently no reason.  For example when he shot down and killed the man on the street because Alexis thought of him as a punk.  Why would he do such a thing?  Fernando, his lover, did not find this funny.  He was worried about Alexis that he would get caught.  Although, Fernando himself had a rather excitable side when he would throw stereos off the balcony.  When Alexis died, he found himself at a crossroads in life until he found another young lover who resembled Alexis in a lot of aspects and just so happened to be Alexis’s murderer.  So what was the point to all this killing in Medellin, Columbia?  The movie never touched base on this issue, but the articles gave good background knowledge.

The National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book said that Columbia had a intractable civil conflict where the CIA and other reports from the 1990s suggest that the Columbian government had no intention in going after violent groups in the country.  Columbia lacks a sense of national security and authority, perhaps promoting the violent behavior that Alexis and many others took part in.

Ricardo Vargas says on the topic of mafias, politics and the Esprit Mafioso that there are four factors that explain the group of mafia power and behavior in Columbia.  He says that 1- the nation-state does not have a firm government or centralized power 2- there is personalized mediation in political powers thus providing mafias with a social function 3- dependency is mediated with economic resources and political power where mafias represent both new and old relationships and 4- private violence is used for social control and power.  Most of these reasons presented by Vargas are about having no dominant figure who cares enough to stop the street crime violence and mafias as well as the power of the mafias being so strong and powerful that no one quite dare to do so.  These points were depicted in the movie when the police were looking for Alexis when he murdered someone in the streets.  They were never able to find them and it seems as if the effort to do so was not really there. In Columbia when Alexis killed the punk, the one witness that saw the shooter was easily tricked by Fernando when he said “didn’t you see the biker shoot that man?” even though she clearly saw that it was Alexis, she went along with Fernando’s story.  Even though I use the word “trick” it is unclear whether Fernando in fact tricked the witness or she just did not want to be involved in the crime for the fear of being killed herself.  The film overall was shocking to see that the government really did not have any involvement in all the murders that were happening so commonly on the streets.  It makes me curious as to why that is.