Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo
Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo has faced obstacles ever since he survived the first-round vote in June as prosecutors moved against his party, called Semilla, alleging irregularities in its founding and trying to suspend it. AFP

Gunshots fired during an ongoing pro-democracy protest in Guatemala have led to the death of one person and caused injuries among two, local authorities said Monday.

Victor Gomez, a spokesman for the volunteer firemen in Malacatan -- a town in the San Marcos department of Guatemala -- said it was unclear whether the victims were protestors or just regular people near the protest, as per AP News.

Several videos, which surfaced on social media, showed armed gunmen opening fire on civilians and police officers. One such video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed unknown gunmen firing guns, as civilians ran for their lives.

The X user claimed these armed people were hired by the outgoing President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, to stop the peaceful protests in the country.

Guatemalans have been protesting to demand the resignation of prosecutors accused of blocking the newly elected president, Bernardo Arevalo, from taking office.

Even though Arevalo won the elections through the Movimiento Semilla party by an overwhelming margin, Attorney General María Consuelo Porras has allegedly made efforts to disqualify his party to stop him from taking over the office.

These actions have made Guatemalans angry and received criticism from international bodies.

Arevalo took to X to react to the violence, saying, "We condemn the violence that shock groups have unleashed in Malacatán, San Marcos. We demand that the authorities ensure the safety of those who peacefully demonstrate and guarantee that this fact does not go unpunished."

Even though most of the protests, which began Oct. 7, have been peaceful, a couple of incidents saw the protestors block the roads and disrupt Guatemalan's daily routine. However, those protesters were immediately arrested.

Following such incidents in the protest, Attorney General Porras urged the government in a video message to take action against the protestors.

Ahead of the elections, Arevalo had campaigned to end corruption in the country. He won the election in June, and his inauguration has been scheduled to take place in January 2024.

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