HomeNewsBriefMexico Police Chief’s Firing a Rare Response to Excessive Force
BRIEF

Mexico Police Chief’s Firing a Rare Response to Excessive Force

HUMAN RIGHTS / 30 AUG 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has fired the country’s Federal Police chief following a damning report by Mexico’s top human rights agency, which found the force responsible for the extrajudicial killing of at least 22 individuals. 

Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced on August 29 that Enrique Galindo has been discharged as commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Police, reported the New York Times. The interior minister said Galindo was removed in order to facilitate a transparent investigation into “recent events,” reported El Universal

Although Osorio Chong did not specify which “recent events” he was referring to, the decision to fire Galindo comes on the heels of a recent report by Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos – CNDH) alleging the “arbitrary execution” of at least 22 individuals by Federal Police officers during an armed confrontation in May 2015.

Galindo and other high-level security officials have maintained that the officers’ use of force was justified because they had come under fire from members of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG). The human rights commission’s investigation, however, found that officers had tampered with evidence at the scene of the shootout and that many of the victims had been shot either from behind or at close range. 

Osorio Chong announced that Manelich Castilla Craviotto, who currently serves as director of the Gendarmerie division of the Federal Police, will replace Galindo as commissioner.

InSight Crime Analysis

Galindo’s ouster is a departure from past instances in which Mexican authorities have failed to follow through on CNDH investigations into human rights violations by the security forces. In October 2014, for example, the CNDH concluded that the army had summarily killed at least 15 people in a warehouse earlier that year. But this March a military tribunal acquitted all but one of the soldiers allegedly involved. Similarly another CNDH investigation into excessive use of force by military and federal police officers in January 2015 has yet to result in any convictions. 

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profile

Dismissing Galindo is only the first step, however, and there is no certainty that the move will lead to arrests or a thorough probe into potential criminal wrongdoing. The CNDH can make recommendations to the government, but its mandate is limited to investigating and documenting human rights abuses. And the Attorney General’s Office has, at best, a mixed track record when it comes to prosecuting high-profile cases of rights violations by the security forces.

It would therefore be premature to consider Galindo’s firing a sign that Mexican authorities are taking aim at the widespread impunity protecting military and police officers from prosecution in cases of excessive use of force.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

MEXICO / 25 JAN 2016

A new World Bank report states there is a correlation between homicide rates and the number of unemployed male youths…

MEXICO / 8 DEC 2014

As Mexico's president struggles to claw back approval ratings through new security measures announced in the epicenter of his current…

MEXICO / 6 AUG 2019

A series of messages from criminal groups directly threatening Mexico’s president have appeared in recent months, but the tactic appears…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…