Sex & drugs, in the worst way

‘Now we make you ugly, my mother said.’  Ladydi is a young girl being raised by her mum in a remote part of Mexico near Alcapulco. Every aspect of Ladydi’s life – her friends, community, school – have been ravaged by drugs.  If the Netflix drama Narcos gives us a perspective on the life of one of the world’s most successful cocaine traffickers, Prayers for the Stolen presents the localised impact of the drugs trade.  Narcos‘ depiction of Pablo Escobar’s life was all about sex and drugs and violence but, at the centre of the story were the very rich men who made bad things happen to other people; these men wielded the control. None of the characters in Prayers of the Stolen, least of all the women, have any ability to control events around them- the most they can do is pretend their daughters are boys and ‘make them ugly’ to try and prevent the traffickers stealing them away in their black SUVs.