Guatemala Simulation- Bullets and Ballots

A summary and 6 questions
by Alex Mielens

In our simulation, we had 5 teams: USA, Rich and Army, Peasants, Guatemalan Government and Peasants. The objective of the game was to have the most MSUs (Military Strength Units) by the third month (Third day of simulation). All teams except for the US could run candidates in elections in the third month.

US Troops in Guatemala
Guatemalan Military

What happened?

In the beginning of the game, a member of the US took control of the US. All the other members of the US voted to silence the person who took control. Upon silencing him, The US formed a 3-way group with the Peasants and the Rich and Army. The US eventually won due to the use of the US Military Invasion which gave the US all MSUs. The US then made a dictatorship and killed leaders of key groups.

Guatemalan Guerillas

How Power Shifts:

In our simulation, power shifted solely between the Rich/Army, Peasants and the USA. In the beginning of the game, the Rich/Army had all the power, with 200 MSUs. They formed a treaty with the US which gave the US 100 additional MSUs for a total of 160. The US then killed one of the Rich/Army members (at their request). The members of the US then killed the member that usurped power. At this point, the US, Peasants and Rich/Army formed a 3-way alliance which give all the troops to the peasants. The peasants then drafted a treaty (four times) which was torn up by the Guerillas (four times).  At the start of month 3, they submitted a fifth draft of the treaty. However, before the treaty went into effect the USA invaded, gaining power and all MSUs. This allowed the USA to win the game.

Why did it Shift?

Power shifted because US leaders wanted to win the game. In my opinion, some of the leaders of the US and other groups wanted to form alliances so that more people were able to win. However, I and several other US leaders thought that it would be best for one group to win the game instead of multiple. For this reason, we conducted a US Military Invasion, instantly winning the game.

What was the Effect?

I believe that the effect was negative due to less control by the Guatemalan government. In the real world, the effect is sometimes positive, which is shown by how the US overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The US did this as they did not agree with the Taliban's practices and theocratic rule, which is the leading cause of the power shift. Unfortunately, the Taliban was not completely eradicated and still exists to this day. However, it can also be negative, which is shown by military coups in the Middle East. Some of these resulted in brutal government crackdowns or harsh rulers.

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