Week Twelve- La virgen de los sicarios

<br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;">The film, <i>La virgen de los sicarios</i><span style="font-style: normal;">, depicts the aggression and brutality in Medellin, Colombia during the period known as </span><i>la violencia.</i><span style="font-style: normal;"> Drug smuggling and the gangs that controlled it constantly fought over territory and control of the drug trade. These men and sometimes young boys would find any excuse to engage in open shootouts in the streets. These became so commonplace that those who were frightened by the shootings were ridiculed. As Forrest Hylton points out in his article, “Evil Hour in Colombia,” the wars in the streets of Colombia were not only fueled by the drug trade but also by politics. As this article points out, </span><i>la violencia</i><span style="font-style: normal;"> did not start with shootings of people because they played their music too loudly, as shown in the film. People had legitimate reasons for panicking after the collapse of the coffee industry and wealthy landowners trying to claim mass amounts of properties. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Not all of the violence has meaning or motive, however. Ricardo Vargas picks up on the trend of private violence in his essay, “State, Espirit Mafioso, and Armed Conflict in Colombia.” Although privately motivated killings, like those in <i>La virgen de los sicarios</i><span style="font-style: normal;">, were a problem during this time, mobs were a huge factor during </span><i>la violencia. </i><span style="font-style: normal;">Basically, individuals along with mobs infiltrate weak governments and positions of power in order to have control over the drug trade and politics in whatever part of the country they were in. The violence escalated beyond control in Medellin, which seemed to be the center of this war. This violence in metropolitan areas, along with a growing dependence on agriculture and large government tracts of land becoming available, caused a migration for many Columbians to the countryside. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Much of what Hylton describes in his article highlights the fact that <i>la violencia </i><span style="font-style: normal;">directly involved the lives of the common people living in Medellin. However, the most of the cold-blooded murders were controlled by “the people upstairs,” basically the wealthy people who have taken over the weak governmental positions. These people almost essentially have turned the people of Medellin into pawns in their game of control. The War of a Thousand Days also seems to have led the way for the brutal behavior, when mass casualties became very commonplace. After this war was over the people were still conditioned and almost indifferent to the murders that happened on a daily basis. This seems to just add fuel to the fire when the police and society were doing almost nothing to combat the shootings that were happening right in front of them. As one can see, </span><i>la violencia</i><span style="font-style: normal;"> was not sparked or supported by one certain group, cause, or circumstance. It seems to be a perfect storm of political unrest, economic strife, and unwillingness to fix the situation after it had begun that made this time period so brutal for the citizens of Colombia. <b></b></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/1328590662320988729-598603914197788830?l=kmclean5-history475.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>