Bullets and Ballots Simulation

A Shift in Power in the Country of Guatemala

Overview of the Game

At the beginning of the Bullets and Ballots game, there were 5 major groups battling for power of Guatemala. These five groups were the army and the wealthy, the guerillas, the United States of America, the government, and the peasants. In this game, strength was measured by military strength units. The army and the wealthy had the most power at the beginning of the game, because they possessed the most military strength units. The guerillas were the second most powerful ; next came the United States, then the government, and finally, the peasants at zero military strength units.

A lot occurred during month one, and therefore the power shifted. The army and the wealthy gained MSU’s through a treaty with the United States. This means that the United States supported the army and the wealthy, and therefore wished for them to be in power. Another treaty that occurred was between the government and the guerillas. The government and the guerillas decided to combine as one and create the Guatemalan Guerilla Government or G.G.G. ( Sometimes my sister and I form as one to overthrow my mother). The government then gave the guerillas all 20 of their MSU’s. At the end of month one, the guerillas had 150 MSU’s and the army and the wealthy had 190 MSU’s. The power in month one shifted due to the Unites States’ involvement and treaty with the army and the wealthy. As a result, the army and the wealthy remained in power during month one.

Month two began by the guerillas launching an offensive on the army and the wealthy. As a result, the guerillas gained 20 MSU’s which gave the army and the guerillas a total of 170 MSU’s each. Therefore no one possessed the takeover or silence cards. However, half way through month 2, a peasant joined the guerillas. This caused the guerillas to gain 10 MSU’s as well as the takeover and silence cards. The guerillas decided to use the takeover card and gained control over Guatemala. The guerillas decided that under their rule Guatemala would be a communist society. They gave everyone 50 MSU’s , and put Ryan in charge. They said that a new president would be elected every 8 years. So, at the end of month 2, the guerillas had the most power. An example of this occurring in real life was when the United States lent arms to a guerilla group in hopes of them overthrowing the government. An example of this relating to my life is when my sister overthrows me and sits in the front seat. She is older, which in my life means she has more power. In this day and age, wisdom, technology, and age are all factors of power as well as military strength units.

During month three, the United States decided to invade Guatemala because they didn’t like the form of government the guerillas chose. The United States then decided to put the army and the wealthy in charge. They chose the candidates that ran in the election, and all the candidates chosen were from the army and the wealthy. (This shows a cooperation between the United States and the army). As a result, at the end of month one, the army and the wealthy were in charge and Nate and Craig were the new president and vice president of Guatemala. This happened because the United States and the army had a treaty. An example of when the United States helped a force gain control of a country was in 1821 when Panama declared its independence from Colombia. An example of this occurring in my life is when my sister and I form as one to overthrow my mother and not have meatloaf for dinner.


Cooperation appeared early during this game when the guerillas and the government joined as one. Cooperation was also shown when the United States created a treaty with the army and the wealthy to lend them arms and keep peace between them. Finally, cooperation was shown when the peasants created a treaty with the army. Conflict began to appear when the army and the wealthy silenced Eli. It also appeared when the guerillas launched an attack on the army and the wealthy. Lastly, conflict was shown when the guerillas took over Guatemala and then the United States decided to invade.


The Shifting of Power

Power can shift between anyone or anything. It can shift between countries, citizens, or even family members. In my family, the power belongs to my parents. When that power is shifted to me, it usually has a negative result. In my situation, the strongest power always wins. So, my parents are in charge of me. However, they do give me some sort of power and responsibilities. This can happen between countries as well. Such as how Puerto Rico is connected to the United States and shares the same laws, but isn't a state yet. The power shifted a lot during this game, as can be concluded from the above paragraphs. Shifting of power can either have a positive or negative effect on a country. If the force that gained control of the country is fair in their rule, than their effects are likely to be positive. If their control is violent or harmful to their citizens, than the force in charge is more likely to cause failure to the country. If this were to occur, then revolts begin to happen, and the United States will either takeover or assist the force in need. This was evident when the United States invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Sometimes citizens can be unhappy with the new rulers of their country. For example, in our simulation, the guerillas and the goverment refused to vote for the army and the wealthy during the election. If citizens are unhappy with their form of goverment, it might cause them to migrate to a different country. They bring their culture with them to their new location, and thus, influence the culture of their new location. For example, Latin America's music is a mixture of english horns, an afro beat, spanish guitars, and native woodwind instruments. All of these things make up spanish music. Inorder for these things to enter Latin America, someone must have brought them over from their original locations. Perhaps they moved to Latin America due to lack of trust in their countrie's goverment. An example of this occuring in my life is when I have an argument with my mother or with my sister. As a result, I migrate to my room, and refuse to come out. Sometimes, people leave countries due to conflict and refuse to return.

The Forces Fighting for Power in Guatemala

By: Sadie Farnsworth

Made on October 30, 2013

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