charcoal on paper
22" x 14"
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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Please contact the artist for use of these images.