Mexico's federal police chief sacked by Enrique Pena Nieto following report alleging cartel executions

Penã Nieto decided to dismiss Galindo to make way for a transparent investigation into the allegations

Feliks Garcia
New York
Monday 29 August 2016 23:36
Mexican federal police outside the ranch where the alleged executions took place in May 2015 <em>Hector Guerrero/Getty</em>
Mexican federal police outside the ranch where the alleged executions took place in May 2015 Hector Guerrero/Getty

Mexico’s top police chief has been dismissed after a scathing report by the country’s human rights commission alleged the federal police executed at least 22 people on a ranch last year.

President Enrique Peña Nieto decided to remove federal police chief Enrique Galindo after the National Human Rights Commission released their report to allow for a more transparent investigation into the alleged events, the Associated Press reported.

“In light of the recent events and on instructions of the president, Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo has been removed from his position,” Interior Secretary Osorio Chong announced. “That is with the objective of facilitating that the corresponding authorities carry out an agile and transparent investigation in full view of citizens.”

In their report, the NHRC said that Mexico Federal police killed at least 22 suspected drug cartel members in a remote ranch in Michoacan in May 2015. Police then allegedly moved the bodies and planted guns on the victims to corroborate their reports.

Mexico protests: Teachers vow to fight reforms

“The investigation confirmed facts that show grave human rights violations attributable to public servants of the federal police,” said commission President Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez at an 18 August conference.

Of the 22 killed, investigators found two instances of torture and four deaths caused by excessive force. Thirteen had been shot in the back.

In addition to the suspects killed in the incident, the report said some 40 civilians died by bullets.

Mr Galindo and Mexican National Security Commissioner Renator Sales denied any wrongdoing on part of the police – but still accepted the recommendations put forth by the commission.

“The use of weapons was necessary and proportional against the real and imminent and unlawful aggression,” Mr Sales said when the NHRC released their report. “That is to say, in our minds they acted in legitimate defence.”

The deaths occurred during a police operation against the Jalisco New Generation cartel – a rival of the more well-known Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. Police claimed they had taken fire from a truck that led them to the ranch.

However, the commission found no evidence to corroborate that claim, and believe the police opened fire arbitrarily – including 4,000 shots fired from a helicopter.

Mexico federal police received major criticism following their inconsistent account when violence broke out at a teacher’s strike in Oaxaca. Police originally claimed that gunfire had come from people from outside the protest, before Mr Galindo confirmed that armed officers were, in fact, at the demonstration.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in