Mexico’s president has dismissed the chief of the federal police force, less than two weeks after the country’s human rights commission released a scathing report alleging federal police executed at least 22 suspected drug cartel members during a raid on a ranch.
Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday decided to remove Enrique Galindo to allow for a transparent investigation.
“In light of the recent events and on instructions of the president, Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo has been removed from his position,” Osorio Chong said.
“That is with the objective of facilitating that the corresponding authorities carry out an agile and transparent investigation in full view of citizens.”
Earlier this month, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission announced that its investigation had found that at least 22 people were killed without justification by police during the operation at a ranch in the western state of Michoacan on May 22, 2015.
The report alleged police planted guns on some suspects and moved some bodies to bolster the official report that all the deaths occurred during a gunbattle. In all, 42 civilians and one federal police officer were killed.
Galindo and National Security Commissioner Renato Sales had said they accepted the commission’s recommendations, but denied that police executed anyone. They said the federal officers used necessary force against a heavily armed band of criminals.
The federal police have also been criticized for a June clash in the southern state of Oaxaca in which officers opened fire on protesting teachers and their allies in the town of Nochtixtlan. Eight civilians died, seven of them from gunshot wounds. Authorities said the police were fired on first, though others dispute that.
Osorio Chong said Galindo would be replaced by Manelich Castilla Craviotto, who had been in charge of the federal police’s gendarmes force.