The Colonel, moreover, lives still in the world of his youth, during which he fought, along with the Communists, in the Cristeros War (La Cristiada), the 1917 Mexican battles waged against the clerics by then Mexican President Plutarco Elłas Calles in his struggle to help peasants to gain property rights, a revolution which the Catholic Church had opposed. Thousands were killed in the 10 year persecution of Church and its believers.
Although his loving wife certainly knows that the money will never arrive, she, in a kind of tacit compact with her husband and his ideals, keeps hoping for a miracle, hiding the fact that the debtors are soon to evict them if their mortgage remains unpaid. The wonder of this work is that, unlike so many of García Márquez’s writings, there is no “magic” at work in their lives. The only thing of value they hold—other than each other’s sometimes begrudging love—is “Blondie,” a fighting cock once owned by their son, and the cause, so they are told, of his murder by a local carnival worker, Nogales (Daniel Giménez Cacho), who also shared with Agustin the love of the local prostitute, Julia (Selma Hayek).