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Mexico sacks federal police chief amid arbitrary executions scandal

The move will allow a "transparent investigation" into reports of arbitrary executions, said Mexico's interior minister. Federal police have come under increased scrutiny under the official's watch.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday dismissed the chief of the federal police force following a scathing report that alleged security forces "executed arbitrarily" at least 22 suspected members of a drug cartel.

"In light of the recent events and on instructions of the president, Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo has been removed from his position," said Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.

"That is with the objective of facilitating that the corresponding authorities carry out an agile and transparent investigation in full view of citizens," Chong added.

Federal authorities have launched an investigation into a police operation in May that left 42 civilians and one federal police officer dead. Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) found that at least 22 people were killed without justification.

Galindo said he accepted the commission's recommendations, adding that federal police used necessary force against the suspected drug cartel members.

Mexico's federal police have increasingly been criticized under Galindo's watch for acts of excessive violence.

In June, they opened fire on teachers protesting in the town of Nochixtlan, leaving at least seven people dead from gunshot wounds, although police say protesters opened fire on them first.

"I think his position was unsustainable after the CNDH report on Tanhuato," said Mexico City-based security analyst Alejandro Hope. "It was just a matter of time. There were too many controversies surrounding commissioner Galindo."

ls/gsw (AP, Reuters)

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