Four people were killed and more than 20 others wounded Thursday in confrontation between protesters and security forces in the western Guatemalan province of Solola, authorities said.
All of the fatalities were civilians, while the injured include seven soldiers.
Enraged local residents refused to allow authorities to remove the bodies of the dead, a spokesman for fire rescue told the media.
A dozen people were taken to nearby hospitals with gunshot wounds, the spokesman said, while one protester was struck by a tear-gas canister.
Peasants, students and others gathered early Thursday to block the Interamerican highway at several points west of Guatemala City to protest an increase in electric rates and a planned overhaul of the educational system, among other grievances.
Violence erupted when police moved in to clear the road.
The deaths took place at a spot in Santa Maria Ixtahuacan, Solola province, according to initial reports.