Shifts of Power in Guatemala

By: Julianna Corsetto

1) What groups are involved, who had the power?

There were five groups involved in the Guatemalan game. There was the U.S., the army and wealthy, the peasants, the guerillas, and the government. When we started the game the army and wealthy had the most power with 200 msu's. They were in control of the weak government since they only had 20 msu's. We, the peasants, did not have any msu's but had power in numbers because we made up the majority of the nation. The guerillas had more power than the government with 60 msu's but could not take over the nation because they still had less power than the army and wealthy. The U.S. had the same amount of msu's as the guerillas but were just by standers in the beginning of the game, hoping that the nation could solve their own problems.

2) How the balance of power shifted and why?

On the first day of the game we, the peasants, and the guerillas joined each other in order to reach a common goal. That goal was to take over the government and great a democracy where the rich did not have as much power and the poor would have more power. Then that same day the army and wealthy and the guerillas signed a treaty that gave the guerillas 25 msu's just as long as they were peaceful with the army and wealthy. So at the end of day one the army and wealthy still had the most power with 175 msu's, the guerillad were closely trailing behind with 135 msu's, the U.S. still had 60 msu's, and the government still had 20 msu's. On day two the U.S. made a treaty with the guerillas that gave them 45 msu's which gave them the most power. So then the guerillas turned their backs on the army and wealthy used the takeover card on them. When day three came around the guerillas decided to take all the different social classes and even them all out so that the peasants, guerillas, army and wealthy, and the government were all equal. Then they set up a democratic government where anyone could vote. So Logan won the election. But soon after the U.S. invaded Quatemala and set up an oligarchy, their reasoning behind this was so that people could no longer take over the government in Quatemala.

3) How was cooperation and conflict shown in the game ( violence/ corruption/ war)

Cooperation was shown when the guerillas joined with us, the peasants, in order to take over the army and wealthy and the government. It was also shown when the U.S. gave the guerillas 45 msu's so that they could create a democratic government. Conflict was shown when the guerillas took over the army and wealthy. Then when the U.S. invaded Quatemala there was conflict again. There were no wars in this game.

4)  What role did the U.S. have on the simulation?

When the game first started the U.S. said in their opening statement that they were just there to make sure that Quatemala gets back on track, they said that they were not going to do anything military while at that point in time. Then on day two they made a treaty that gave the guerillas 45 msu's to take over the government and make it democratic. Then after the election on day three they invaded Quatemala and put in an Oligarchy. They did not want there to be  another government take over so that is why they stepped in.

5) What happens to a country when power shifts, is the effect positive or negative?

When we, the peasants, received power at the end of the game because one of our people was elected president, it caused a lot of anger toward the army and wealthy because they were no loner in charge and we just the middle class. And then after the election when the U.S. invaded us I felt anger and thought it was unfair because we had just fix our government and then the U.S. just changed it. So I think that power shifts can cause negative effects to the social group that is losing power. But I think that sometimes power shifts are a positive thing is there needs to be a change with who has power.

6)Apply this information to YOUR LIFE! What relationships do you have in your life, how are cooperation and conflict evident?

In my life everyone of my family members could be represented as one of the social groups that we played in the Quatemalan game. My parents could be the U.S. because they are the most powerful in my house. My oldest brother, Dominic, would be the army and wealthy because he is the strongest person in my family. My middle brother, Giovanni, would represent the guerillas because he does not always get along well with the other members of my family. I would be the Guatemalan government in my house because I am the only girl and do not have much power over anyone except my youngest brother, Lorenzo, who would be the peasant because he is much younger than my siblings and I. Conflict has shown up when Dominic wanted to watch something on our tv downstairs and he is more powerful then me so he could take it and I couldn't do anything about it. Cooperation has shown up when my same brother, Dominic, will pick something up at the store for the parents.

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