"But most of those who could have done something to prevent the crime and did not consoled themselves with the pretext that affairs of honor are sacred monopolies, giving access only to those who are part of the drama.".
CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD.
A conspiracy, in legalese, is defined as "the act of one is the act of all". This Nobel Prize winning novel by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez not only underlines the patriarchic moral codes unquestioningly upheld by the members of a small Latin town but more importantly the idea that the rest of the town was just as culpable with their inaction as the two men who wielded the knives. In effect, Santiago Nasar was a man murdered by an entire town.
The unique way in which this murder was related, utilizing piecemeal accounts of witnesses with memories thirty years old, lends a thrill and suspense in the race to get to the truth. Although the death of Santiago Nasar was foretold in the opening lines of the novel, the reasons and details are painfully divulged gradually. This tale is not about the quest for truth but a questioning of the truth that the communal values that a group of people hold can paint murder in the most honorable of lights. .
Nasar is killed in the story because he was named as the one to blame for the premarital devirginization of Angela Vicario. The latter was the returned bride of one Bayardo San Roman for the reason of her prematurely punctured hymen. Thus, in defense of her honor, twin brothers Pedro and Pablo killed Santiago Nasar. .
Although his death is the main event for the reader, the other rich characters described within the story put more weight on the issues of Angela's loss of honor. This and not the actual murder of Nasar was the basis for most people's concern. .
This novel has been described as being akin to a Greek tragedy, wherein there is that painful inevitability. However, the real tragedy of this novel lies in the inaction, cowardice and cavalier attitude the town held for the life of Santiago Nasar.