In Hector Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier, Antonio migrated from Guatemala saw Longoria in the L.A. who killed Elena and Carlitos, who are Antonio’s spouse and son. People lived in Los Angles were frustrated with the government and power system at the time. Consequently, Antonio got revenge against Longoria for Antonio’s family, others who were murdered by Longoria in Guatemala, and his justice. Justice is based on an absolute human right: the right to life, and whatever violates that right is unjust. If the power system is allowed to violate vulnerable people, the weak have a choice to use violence to attempt to reveal the responsibility of those who abused power. However, seeking violent revenge is also unjust because it violates the right to life. Nonviolent resistance can be further power to save the victims without contravening the right to life.
The most fundamental basis of justice is the human right to live. It is unlikely that anyone would disagree with this. This right includes not only life but also people’s right to live humanely. No one should break that right, and law should protect this right. No matter what it is that violates the right to life, it is unjust because the right is formed on an inviolable basis.
When people hurt other people’s right to life and violate their humanity, it is definitely violence. We can consider two forms of violence, physical and psychological violence, which both violate the human right to life. Although psychological violence is hard to observe, it leaves sufferers with severe trauma. State violence can fall into either of these categories. In The Tattooed Soldier, The Guatemalan army used “psychological operation” that is a method to control civilians with terror to regulate ideologies against the army (Tobar 220). Many scholars, professors, and students in universities were kidnapped by government or army agents to be killed in Guatemala. Longoria, who was a soldier of Guatemala, was kidnaped by soldiers to be forced to become a soldier when he was a child (Tobar 60). Those authorities selfishly used their power to repress vulnerable people. Many unarmed civilians and children were slaughtered by soldiers in Guatemala. Elena and Carlitos, who are Antonio’s spouse and son, were killed as well. Furthermore, the soldiers would also be harmed and possibly get mental illnesses and trauma. For example, Hector Tober described Lopez, who was a Guatemalan soldier, losing his son in a gang shooting and suffering from the memories of children who were killed when Lopez was in Guatemalan army(Tobar 198). The soldiers were manipulated into thinking that “this thing they were fighting was a cancer, and sometimes the children were contaminated with it too” (Tobar 63). They were manipulated into having totally inhumane values causing them to kill their own countrymen and even children. If they realize the fact that they killed people of the same country, they would be heartbroken.