Mexican rights body says police used excessive force in 6 civilian deaths during confrontation

Mexico's governmental human rights commission said Wednesday that excessive use of force by federal police resulted in six civilian deaths in a confrontation last January, including a person who was shot dead after he was already wounded on the ground and posed no threat to police.

It recommended that prosecutors open criminal investigations into the deaths.

The commission criticized authorities' handling of the incident on Jan. 6, 2015, in the western state of Michoacan, when federal forces moved in to dislodge members of self-defense groups who had seized the Apatzingan city hall to protest electricity rates and crime.

Officers began their advance at dawn to clear the camp, producing confrontations. Protesters later attacked a federal police convoy that was taking seized vehicles to an impound yard. Ten civilians in all died.

The commission said none of the dead received timely medical attention.

Commission President Luis Gonzalez Perez said further that "excessive use of force resulted in the death of five people, and illegal execution of one person by federal police."

The five people were unarmed when they were shot to death, the commission said. One of the dead suffered 27 bullet wounds.

Another person lying on the ground was shot to death execution style by someone, presumably a police officer, who was standing above him, the commission's report said.

"The victim yelled that he was unarmed and put up his hands as a signal of surrender," the report said. "He received the fatal gun wound when he was lying on the ground."