Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has confirmed that the federal police executed 22 people during a confrontation on a ranch in the western state of Michoacan last year.
The commission had investigated the clash, which took place at a ranch in the town of Tanhuato in May 2015.
A total of 42 suspected members of a drug cartel died in the clash, as well as one police officer.
Earlier, the government said there had been no human rights violations.
But, the commission established that 40 people were shot, one died in a fire and another was run over.
“We established facts that imply grave human rights violations attributable to public servants of the federal police,” Raul Gonzalez, the president of the CNDH, told Reuters.
Gonzalez said the police lied about their role during the incident, moved 7 bodies and shifted weapons to manipulate the scene. “Police tortured two people they arrested, and burned two bodies”, Gonzalez added.
The CNDH was unable to clarify how another 15 of the victims were killed, he said.
The violence was thought to be drug-related and officials said it had been connected to a war being fought between two local drug gangs.