Guatemalan Conflicts & Cooperation

Bullets and Ballots Simulation By: Emily Moser

It's All About the Involvement!

The groups involved in this game where the Peasants, Army and Wealthy, Guerillas, the USA, and the Guatemalan Government. In the beginning of the game the Army and Wealthy started with the power. The Peasants had the least amount of power in society. During the 2nd month the Army and Wealthy still had the power but the Guerillas where very close behind. Also during the 2nd month the Peasants became part of the Guerillas which made the Guerillas gain many MSU’s which made the Guerillas almost take the power from the Army and Wealthy. During the last month the power shifted many times between the guerillas and the peasants. The Guerillas attacked the Army and Wealthy and pulled ahead. Then the Army and Wealthy sided with the U.S and took the power from everyone, destroying the MSU’s. This kind of power shifts happen in the real world as well. For example right now the United States has the power, but thirty years from now this may not be the case. Power is based on money and amount of army strength the country has. In a few years the power can shift because a powerful country can lose its money and its strength and another country can gain that power and become the most powerful country until the power shifts again.

Power is Key

During the game this balance of power shifted very often. During the first month the Army and Wealthy had the power. The power shifted throughout the first and second month between the guerillas, Guatemalan Government, Peasants, and the U.S. During the third month the Guerillas finally took the Army and Wealthy out of power but not for long. Halfway through the third month the guerillas lost their power to the Army and Wealthy again. After the Army and Wealthy took over the Government they took away all power so they couldn’t be overthrown. This scenario can happen a lot in Dictatorship types of government when the Guerillas try to over throw the government but fail and end up getting silenced and that’s when a dictator comes to power, just like what happened in the game.

Getting Along

During the game the guerillas and Army and Wealthy had an option to attack each other to gain MSU’s. This scenario represented war. There was much conflict among groups. In the peasant group everyone traded over to the Guerillas except for one person. This caused conflict with treaties between the U.S and Army and Wealthy. It also kind of made this one person angry (no it was not me). Cooperation was also demonstrated between different groups and within groups. Between different groups, treaties were created. In groups, the group members compromised on many different things like whether or not we were going to attack the Army and Wealthy or if we were going to sign a treaty another group had established. In the real world many countries do this as well. For example the Syria issue country’s government compromise and decide whether or not they are going to help them or not. Also there is conflict in this process. People can disagree and not compromise causing a delayed action which could affect Syria.

The Biggest Influence...

The U.S affected this game in a big way. The first month they stayed very quiet, and isolated from the Guatemala. Although the U.S did align with the peasants giving them MSU’s and support to over throw the government. In return we gave them our word that we would help them take down the guerillas. This deal worked up until the peasants moved to the guerillas and breached the treaty. This caused the U.S to not trust us anymore. During the third month the U.S affected the game drastically. During this month the guerillas took power and sided with the government to take over the government but unfortunately the U.S gave the Army and Wealthy MSU’s which made them take our power. After that the Army and Wealthy was able to take the control the government. The U.S also agreed to stay allies with Guatemala. This type of situation happens often. The United States has sided with the Peasants and help them over through the government. We have also helped strengthen the government so that it could not be over thrown.

Positives+ and Negatives-

Some countries have shifts in power which can change the country negatively or positively. In our government the power shifted in the third month. When the Guerillas gained power the Army and Wealthy grew angry and began to scramble which became positive for the Guerillas because it gave us time to change our plans. It also gave the government a chance to get in on the power which was great until the Army and Wealthy gained back power which wasn’t great for anyone except them. The government was transformed from a democracy to a dictatorship. Dictatorships are a bad thing because it causes the poor become even poorer. It also takes away many of the citizen’s rights. Many countries around the world have “elections” which make sure their dictator stays in power. In our country we didn’t even have elections. This also happens around the world. Russia is a good example of this because they do hold elections and they have the mindset that they a democracy will be formed but a dictator comes to power and causes another Dictation.


This game can easily relate to my life. At home between my parents and I can show you that conflicts can come up just like conflicts came up between group members in the game. At school with my friends can also be an example of conflict and cooperation. If my friend and I get into a fight it can cause conflicts and potentially break up a friendship. An example of cooperation in my life could be when I make a new friend. This relates back to the game when different groups made treaties, almost like they create a friendship. This game was a very great teaching lesson of how different governments and countries cooperate and conflict.