Latin America Power Shifts
By: Ashley Sanvile
In my cultural geography class we played a game that was focused on the Guatemalan government and how power shifts. Below are the questions that have to do with all that happened in the game.
Question 1: What groups are involved, who had the power?
Originally there were five social groups. There were the " Peasants"- They were the people living in poverty who were not happy with the way the country was being run.But did not have any power to do anything about it. I was part of this social class. The " Army and Wealthy"- This group were very rich and were basically the Guatemalan Government. The " Guatemalan Government"- This was a " puppet" government that would do and say whatever the army and wealthy told them to do. The "Guerillas" - This was a group of people who had previously controlled the government and are fighting to get back into office and make it how they want it. The " United States"- The United States was there to give support to the group that they wanted.
At the beginning of the game the Army and Wealthy had the most MSU's ( military strength units.) They started out with two hundred MSU's. The Guerillas had sixty MSU's. The Guatemalan Government had twenty MSU's. America had twenty five MSU's and the peasants had none.
Question 2: How the balance of power shifted and why?
The Guerillas started to gain a lot of power at the very start of the game. They gained sixty MSU's because the peasants decided to join them. This did not give them enough to have more than the Army and Wealthy. They then got even more because they guerillas signed a treaty with the Army and Wealthy that said they would give them twenty five MSU's if we did not attack them. The guerillas then got up to one hundred eighty MSU's. This gave them more than everyone else so they had all the power. They then took over the government. They did this with the aid of America.
The power would shift because people were always negotiating and making treaties. There was always conflict and cooperation going on. If this was not happening then nobody would get anywhere. The guerillas would not have been able to takeover the government ans build a better new one. There always has to be conflict and cooperation if anything ever needs to improve.
Question 3: How was cooperation and conflict shown in the game?
Cooperation was shown in the game by the peasant agreeing to join the guerillas and when the army and wealthy signed the treaty with the guerillas. There was also cooperation between the U.S and the guerillas when the U.S decided to side with them and give them more MSU's.
Conflict was shown when the guerillas took over the government. By doing this they broke the treaty between them and the army and wealthy and obviously the government wasn't to fond of this. There was also conflict when the U.S decided to invade Guatemala to make the new form of government better. This got everybody very mad. We had just gotten everything good and had an election. Which was a democratic one. But the U.S did what they always do and invaded just so they could show their authority.
This game actually showed more conflict than cooperation. But to have cooperation you have to have conflict. So in order for their to be any agreements you have to have a lot of conflict.
Question 4: What role did the US have on the simulation?
The U.S was their to give support to the group of their choosing. they were there to make sure that the group they wanted got the power and made things better. Which is what the U. S does in real life. If the people of a different country are rebelling against the government we will give our support to the rebels. This is because we want this country to establish a democracy. We believe that democracies are the best form of government. So when we see the chance to get a democracy in place we jump at it. We side with the rebels if they agree to put a democracy. This is basically what the U.S did in the game. We sided with the rebels and gave them the power to be able to overthrow the government. And they then set up a democratic government.
Question 5: What happens to a country when power shifts, is the effect positive or negative?
The effects can be both positive or negative when the power shifts. If the effect is negative then it cause a lot of bad things to happen. The people could get very upset about it and there could be riots or people could start killing others. If the power shifts to the wrong people then it could lead to very bad things. The economy could become very bad if these people do the wrong things with the government. This would lead to a lot of people living in poverty.
If the effects are positive then that's obviously good. The new people in charge would make things better for all the people and not just the rich and wealthy. This could get many people out of poverty. If the new people do their job right then they could get the economy in order and things could be better for everyone.
Question 6: Apply this information to your life! What relationships do you have in your life, how are cooperation and conflict evident?
Their is cooperation and conflict between me and my little sisters relationship. We usually get into a fight when she goes into my room and takes my clothes. We usually get into a big fight about how she should ask me first and just not go into my room without asking first. So then to get back at her I'll go inside her room and take something of hers. Then once we are done yelling at each other, or my Dad breaks us up, we will come up with an agreement. I won't go into her room or take things without her permission and she won't go onto my room and take things without permission. But that usually only lasts for a month or so.
Their is also conflict and cooperation in my relationship with my Dad. I'll ask to go to the movies or my friends house and sometimes he will say no. So I get a little frusturated and ask why not. He then says that I have to clean my room or a room in the house first. So I will go and clean what he tells me too. Then once he has made sure it all looks ok I can go.
Conflict and cooperation are necessary for every relationship. Not everyone agrees on everything. There is no way that there would never be any conflict in the world. Everybody has different opinions about everything.