Ousted Police Chief Enrique Galindo

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.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it pushed President Hugo Chávez into a different and disastrous approach to the prison system.

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.