Jose Gallardo
charcoal on paper
22" x 14"

Brigadier General

Numerous decorations and more than 30 years of service to the Mexican army were not enough to keep General Jose Francisco Gallardo Rodriguez from this prison cell. Since the1993 publication of his master's thesis, which called attention to human rights violations committed by military personnel, one of the youngest Brigadier Generals in Mexico's history has remained imprisoned in Mexico City.

General Gallardo's work, "The Need for a Military Ombudsman in Mexico", describes human rights violations by the Mexican armed forces and recommends the establishment of an office to investigate and monitor these abuses. General Gallardo was imprisoned when a portion of this thesis appeared in the Mexican magazine Forum. Held on charges that remain unsubstantiated by evidence, including "embezzlement" and "damaging military property", he is currently serving a 28-year sentence. Jose Gallardo is the father of four children, who, along with their mother, have suffered threats and harassment since his detention.

International attention to this case, including calls for his release by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and an investigation by the Organization of American States, have done nothing to win his freedom from the Mexican authorities. General Gallardo's outlook, however, remains undeterred: "There is nothing else for us but to follow in this struggle."

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