Our Lady of the Assassins

In the modern era of Latin America, society handles their situations with similar methods as past centuries; pure and unadulterated violence. If a person angers another individual or if they are in dire need of money, a simple act of violence will be able to cure the current situation at hand. Adolescents commit murder without remorse and either receives the vengeance or payment they desired. In the film, La Virgen de los Sicarios, the issue of the unimaginable amount of homicides in the vicinity of Medillin, Columbia after the downfall of the mob boss, Pablo Escobar. Without Escobar’s financial support and protection, his hitmen formed gangs and began to war with themselves in retribution for past homicides against one another.
While the dominant storyline in the movie revolved around the illicit love affair between an older gentleman and his underage, male lover, the forces of Columbian culture was the deciding factor of the survival of their relationship. Alexis, the teenage boy, is the prime example of a tool within the culture. Drug trafficking remained a large income for private Columbians after decades of continued trade with the United States. According to Forrest Hylton’s article Evil Hour in Colombia, the majority of the national wealth went straight to the “5 percent of the population who owned more than half the land” (61). The social imbalance between the classes further increases the drug trafficking, because the private ownership of the land increases the farming of cocoa, poppy, and marijuana plants.
As stated by Ricardo Vargas in State, Esprit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict in Colombia, the levels of society are dependent on the financial income of individuals. If a majority of the income go to just five percent of a population of several million people, that leaves ninety-five percent of the population at the poverty level of society. As seen in Alexis’ family home, poverty for the average peasant included a small apartment with one bed to fit an entire family. Without financial success, exclusion from the political world continues to further the oppression of people stricken with poverty and leaves them with very little opportunity to improve their conditions.
As people are unable to attain proper work and financial success, adolescents form into gangs to attempt making a quick buck with simple work. The gangs of Medillin were thugs that managed to get their hands on some powerful guns and motorbikes. Their financers were able to capitalize on the political confusion from the constant changing of government leaders. During this time, drug traffickers were able to fly under the radar in order to successfully ship to the United States.
While the homosexual relationship itself had a difficult time surviving due to its illicit nature, a similar relationship between a man and a woman in a similar situation would more than likely be influenced by Columbian culture. While the older gentleman lost both of his teenage lovers to the careless violence in Medillin, his control of the situation was out of his hands before his return to the city. While he spent time with his lovers under the light of the fireworks, his relationships came to an end with every explosion.