Bullets & Ballets

-Simulation Game of Power Shift- Cooperation and Conflict


Army & Wealthy

They want to preserve power, wealth, and privilege for the military, rich land owners, and industrialists. The army is fully capable of taking the government from power if it chooses. They are getting nervous and if the poor or guerrillas become too powerful or abusive; the United States may withdraw all support. Because of the disastrous management of the economy during previous military control, the wealthy class opposes military rule. However, if the guerrillas start to take over, they would support the military.

United States

They want to keep control of the region and stop the expanded influence of communist and foreign power. The government really needs US support. The US is also very upset about other nations involving themselves in the conflict. They seem to want to support civilian government in the region.

Peasants and workers

They want reforms that will improve their lives, but have little power to make that happen. Little has been done for their benefit over the years, and they have been brutalized and neglected by military rulers. Many of their demands, like land reform, are not unreasonable. Sadly, there is only so much the government can do for them right now. They must be asked to be patient!


They want to take over by any means, including force. The guerrillas are growing stronger due to A/W abuses, both to the economy and to basic human rights. A guerrilla victory would lead to communism, and you don't want that. You also believe that many poor are moving toward the guerrilla movement because they are afraid of the A/W, not because they support the guerrillas political beliefs. If you could persuade the guerrillas to participate in the election...it would promote the democratic process,and would help you win the election.

Guatemallan Government

Presently in power. As college educated professionals, they are members of Guatemala's small middle class. Their goal is to maintain control of the government by remaining in power.Their hold on power is fragile. The Army and Wealthy really hold the true power and can take over at any time.

Their main objective is to continue civilian rule in Guatemala. They want to win in the upcoming election. They are losing some of the support of the urban poor and peasants. They voted for them in the last election believing their promise of a better future. They want the guerrillas to lay down their arms and vote in the election. They want the A/W to be more open to reforms, and treat the poor with more respect and dignity. They believe that some changes on behalf of the poor are just and inevitable. Modest reform might ease the pressure for revolutionary change.


The A/W are fighting with the guerrillas; who feel they are the ones who represent the people of the country. The government in power wishes to diffuse this conflict without causing a takeover and to help the peasants and workers.

Month 1

Army & Wealthy-170 Guerillas-100 Guatelmalan Government-20 Peasants & Workers-0 United_States-60

Promise, Trust & Deceit

Month 2

Army & Wealthy-140 Guerillas-130 Guatelmalan Government-20 Peasants & Workers-0 United_States-60

Promise, Trust & Deceit

Month 3

Army & Wealthy-40 Guerillas-0 Guatelmalan Government-155 Peasants & Workers-75 United_States-85

Promise, Trust & Deceit


Power Shifts