Correction: Guatemala-Protest story
TOTONICAPAN, Guatemala (AP) — In a story Oct. 5 about protests in Guatemala, The Associated Press erroneously mentioned the president's family name as Molina on second reference. It is Perez Molina.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Rage in Guatemala over killings of 7 protesters
Angry Guatemalans demand justice after 7 protesters killed as troops confront highway blockade
By MOISES CASTILLO and ROMINA RUIZ-GOIRIENA
TOTONICAPAN, Guatemala (AP) — Thousands of indigenous Guatemalans shouted in anger Friday and some threw themselves at the coffins of six local people who were shot to death during a protest over electricity prices and educational reform in a poor rural area.
A seventh victim died later at a hospital in the western city of Quezaltenango.
President Otto Perez Molina acknowledged that government forces had opened fire during the protest Thursday, after saying earlier that police and troops on the scene had been unarmed and the protesters had provoked the clash.
Human rights groups condemned the government's actions and charged they were part of a pattern of excessive use of force against protesters.
The protesters were blockading a highway near the town of Totonicapan, about 90 miles west of Guatemala City, when two vehicles carrying soldiers arrived to help police who had been ordered to evict the demonstrators. Gunfire erupted after the troops came. Bullets killed seven people and wounded 34, officials said.
"We were protesting right next to them when they opened fire on us," said Rolando Carrillo, a 25-year-old protester with a bandaged arm and lacerated face that he said resulted from being hit during the clash.
The president told reporters Friday afternoon that armed security guards had driven the soldiers to the protest. One of the guards apparently was the first to start shooting and then an unspecified number of others fired at the crowd, Perez Molina said.
He said seven soldiers injured in the confrontation had said they only fired into the air to protect themselves from what they considered to be a threatening crowd.