El Sicario is a specialist in kidnappings, torture, and contract killings. For a number of years, he was a unit commander with the Mexican state police and he even completed training with the FBI. While working for Mexican drugs cartels over the course of 20 years, he has killed hundreds of people, but has never been apprehended. At present, he is in hiding and there is a 250,000 dollar reward on his head. Despite this, he has decided to tell his story to the camera of Italian documentary-maker Gianfranco Rosi (whose Below Sea Level won The Best Film Award at One World 2009).
With his face covered, the one and only protagonist of Rosi's chilling film describes how the Mexican drugs mafia operates and how it is linked to corrupt policemen and state officials. The deliberately sparse style of the film, which is completely shot in a hotel room on the US-Mexican border, serves to further augment the horror of this murderer's stories. It also enables viewers to gain an insight into the psychology and working methods of a universityeducated contract killer.