Characters That Abuse Their Power History Essay

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In the following essay I will develop the topic power abuse, and for this topic I have considered the following books: The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela and In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. I have chosen these two books because in them we can find characters that abuse of the power they have. In The Underdogs Porfirio Diaz and Demetrio Macias are characters that take advantage of the situation without caring about anybody. In the Time of the Butterflies, Trujillo is the bad guy, the one that uses his influences to achieve what he wants.

The Underdogs is a book inspired in the Mexican revolution. It narrates the necessities that poor people were passing as well as a vision of the men that were fighting for the cause. The book is based on Demetrio Macias a man that fights for the revolution, even thought he does not really know the real reasons of it. The book takes place during the climax of the revolution. The revolution stared because abuse of power that was seen in Mexico in a constant form.

The Mexican revolution was founded primarily by Francisco I. Madero; he was disagree with the government. In that time the president was Porfirio Diaz, a dictator who had been in the Mexico's power for almost 30 years. Porfirio Diaz took land from the poor people and with his government he grew the haciendas. The haciendas are large pieces of land with a house in which only one person is the owner. The haciendas have many workers and these workers are paid with the minim wage. All though the workers are in charge of the land, they could never become the owner.

Consequence of this lifestyle the revolution upraises. At that time Emiliano Zapata became a hero, he fought for justice and land. He suggested that lands should be for those who work it. And that you cannot own more than you deserve or work. And with this action the end to power abuse from part of the owners of the haciendas

Not everything was perfect during the revolution, because they were fighting against Porfirio Diaz's power abuse. But as time passed we find the same behavior or attitude in a group of men that were fighting for the revolution. Demetrio Macias the main character he is poor and acts like if he was better than everyone else. This is probably because of his courage and ability to lead men in battles and be victorious. In a unconscious form Demetrio Macias abuses of the power or respect he has from his men as well as villagers.

There is something written in the novel where he changes at first he was good. But in a certain point of the novel he becomes a bad person. He acts arrogant and becomes a man that has no respect for others. He acts the same way as the federals who were their enemies. Demetrio is famous for winning a battle against Victoriano Huerta. This is how he becomes famous and creates fear upon his enemies and the people who surrounded him.

Because of his abuse of power, he created controversial as he was passing by the villages. The villages look at them as the bad guys rather than the people who were fighting for them and their needs. Demetrio and his men should not act as arrogant people nor should take women and things as they pass by villagers. Their attitude is a perfect example of power abuse.

"In 1930 Trujillo ran against incumbent Horacio Vasquez for president. Trujillo was able to use his power to win the election. He afterwards claimed he had won ninety five percent of the votes. After he gained the power Trujillo established a secret policy that force that tortured and murdered the opposition to his rule." [1] 

Victor Trujillo has a similar background as Diaz; they were both politically involved in their countries before they won the presidential chair. In 1918 Trujillo joined the Dominican National Guard that had been created by the Americans. He progressed quickly and he was the head of the Dominican National Guard.

In 1930 Trujillo rigged the election and won the presidential chair. After he gained power Trujillo established a secret policy which tortured and murdered the opposition. Trujillo used his political influences to obtain his personal interest. Trujillo had a great relation with United Stated but when this nation become aware of his unpopularity they decided to remove Trujillo from the power. Rafael Trujillo was assassinated on 30th May 1930.

Mexico had Porfirio Diaz and the Dominican Republic had Rafael Trujillo. Rafael Trujillo was a dictator just like Porfirio Diaz. At first Rafael Trujillo was not a bad ruler. But as time passed he started abusing of the power he had. For example; he had a secret policy that had to listen and find out conspiracies against him. This was an invasion of people privacy.

Another thing that he did, which proves to us that he abused of the roll he played in his country, it is that he controlled other people's life. Like the Mirabal sisters he took everything they loved and wanted. If he were an ordinary man it is more than obvious that he took advantage of the position in which he was. Because of his power he had the ability to take what he wanted from anyone. At one point this becomes like his obsession, he gets obsessed with Minerva and wants to destroy her life, just because she did not want to have a relationship with him.

Trujillo proved with his action that he had the capacity of controlling people. In some occasion by black mailing, for example Sinita's family. Trujillo used all his influence to make their life miserable like living in hell. In fact, Sinita was the only woman that knew how Trujillo became a president she said that "Trujillo became president in sneaky way. First , he was in the army, and all the people who were above him kept disappearing until he was the one right below the head of the whole armed forces" (P.17). Sinita also said that "people who opened their mouths did not live very long". With all these corruption Sinita wanted to show the kind of men that was Trujillo.

As we can see, there is not much difference between these two dictators. They both came from a poor background. But when they got to the power they lost their heads and they only wanted to benefit themselves and their families. They betrayed the essence of what they have fought for. Diaz staged the plan of Tuxtepec in which he talked about not being able to rule the country for along time. But at the end, he was the one of his friends as a puppet. Even though his friend was the presidents, Diaz was the one that made all the decisions.

In the Time of the Butterflies is a similar novel because the Mirabal sisters narrated what they were going through and what their country was facing. The Mirabal sisters were in touch with people who were in jail because of Trujillos' dictatorship. Thanks to this we know more about the revolution. As men with enough power can make whatever they want.