GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — At least six people were killed and 30 were shot in a clash between security forces and protesters opposed to high energy prices in Guatemala.
“Thirty people arrived to the hospital with shot wounds and another four were intoxicated with tear gas,” said Deputy Health Minister Marco Vinicio Arevalo. President Otto Perez Molina said Thursday that two army vehicles were carrying troops to support police when they encountered a blockade set up by protesters on a highway in western Guatemala. Molina said civilians in a truck in front of the army vehicles opened fire. He said the soldiers weren’t armed and promised to clarify what happened. He said police officers in the motorcade also were unarmed. Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said the president had suspended an order to evict the protesters from the highway.
Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Erick Escobedo said seven soldiers were hurt. This is the second clash between the army and civilians this year. In May, Molina declared a state of siege for a province on the border with Mexico granting the army emergency powers, after 200 people armed with machetes and guns briefly took over an army outpost to demand justice for a man killed in retaliation who opposed the construction of a hydroelectric plant.