Week 11- La viren de los sicaro

The film La Virgen de los Sicaro tells the story of Fernando a Colombian author who comes back to Medellin after a long absence. He is a very unhappy person, he feels he has lived all the life he can stand. However, he meets a young gay named Alexis whom he develops a relationship with. The context of this relationship is the violent atmosphere caused by the drug cartel warfare occurring in Colombia. Colombian society seems to be in shambles and Fernando provides memories from a different time. Colombia had a rich history in the drug trafficking, and it has caused major societal problems throughout the twentieth century. From 1946-1957 there was a time period called La Violencia. This was a time of civil conflict in the Colombian countryside between supporters of the Colombian Liberal party and the Colombian Conservative Party. The conflict led to guerrilla units being formed, and a period of intense violence in Columbia. La Violencia was a mix of “official terror, partisan sectarianism, an scorched earth policy that resulted from the crisis of the coffee republic, the weakness of the central state, and the contest over property rights”, according to Forrest Hylton’s Evil hour in Colombia (Hylton 39). 
This period of time resembled the one expressed in the film in terms of violence. According to Ricardo Vargas, author of State, Esprit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict in Colombia, the worst part of this Violencia was the polarization of the entire countryside, where civilians were considered on one side or the other. There was no in between, and therefore everyone was a target. In the film, Alexis is eager to kill anyone who crosses his path, and everyone is a target as well.(Vargas 125) This characteristic of an energetic target-seeking youth is also represented by Wilmar later in the film. The drug trafficking is not explicitly seen in the film, however the repercussions of it are. The “hit-men” involved in the industry have constant enemies, and therefore the business is a part of everyone’s lives. 
While the film seems to deal with those inside the industry, there is another side of the issue. The opinion of the Colombian people is not explicitly covered by the film, however Ricardo Vargas provides an explanation of the values Colombia people have. Most Colombians condemn the drug traffic. However, he says that when a trafficker tries to legitimize himself, he is accepted as long as he attempts to show support to those appearing to promote “order”. This public appearance is purely for economic gain. As long as the traffickers keep the local government on their side they will not face repercussions. “The large profits generated by the global trade in drugs have contributed to a new regional economic dynamic, creating employment and income without the need for government-directed development” (Vargas 126). The film, La Virgen de los Sicaro is a testimony to the effects the drug cartel has on the youth of Colombian society, and indirectly on the older generation, even through unconventional methods.