Our Lady of the Assassins

Our Lady of the Assassins is a movie semi-based on a “true story” depicting a homosexual relationship between a writer, Fernando, and a young boy, Alexis in Medellin, Colombia. Chasteen compares Medellin to Chicago in that “Escobar created a mafia empire and became a powerful figure of organized crime, much like Al Capone in an earlier period of US history” (307). Our Lady of the Assassins detailed the daily violence that Colombians in the city of Medellin faced due to illegal drugs taking over the economic, authoritative, and political realms. “By 1982, cocaine attained the status of Columbia’s greatest export, finally trumping coffee” (Hylton 68). Cocaine was mass-produced in Colombia and its presence in these realms produced a violent society without structure or immediate consequences. ”The Medellin cartel resisted arrest and extradition. Journalists and politicians who spoke for extradition were murdered or kidnapped” (Chasteen 308). The movie only showed political leaders on the television set, policemen were completely absent, and murders were not investigated by journalists or crime scene analysts. It all was expected in the “war zone where teenage boys were enlisted by hundreds as hit men” (Chasteen 308).

However, this drug economy was not all glory without remorse; ”the drug economy created huge profits for individuals, but with a loss of social order and personal risk” (Vargas 123). Whenever a murder occurred in the film, it seemed as if the only people who showed any type of reaction were women. Innocent people were killed without second thought because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. A grim-reaper-type character would approach Fernando and Alexis and warn them about the hit men coming to kill them that day including the type of bike they were riding and descriptions of what they were wearing. Did that prevent the two of them from strolling throughout town? Not at all. The brutality and violence was so common that it became mundane. This emotionless view of murder continued in the scene in which Fernando and Alexis come across a dog that is stuck in between rocks in the stream. Because he is so bad off, Fernando tells Alexis to kill the dog. Alexis, murderer of people that simply laughs at his doings, cannot kill the dog. Human life in Medellin has no value; the future seems totally absent.

The cyclical nature of violence and inescapability of it was represented after Alexis was shot and killed and Fernando met another young teenager, Wilmar (why is he always after boys that are forty years younger than him?!!). Wilmar, also known as Blue Lagoon, was responsible for killing Alexis. Fernando almost kills Wilmar while he is sleeping, but cannot do it. (This scene was interesting to me because I cannot imagine finding out that the guy I have been with killed my ex). However, it seems as if he cannot come to terms with killing Wilmar because he knows the mindless manner in which these teenagers have been bred to produce violence. It was not out of personal hatred or deceit, Wilmar was simply doing a job, just as Alexis had done.

Violence that pre-existed. 1980s: expression of violence as Colombia becomes anchor of cocaine trade in the entire world. marijuana = bulkier than cocaine.

Rural people caught between/pay the price for the conflict between the para-militants and guerillas. In the city, the cartels fight amongst themselves