Mexico: Silencing dissent: the imprisonment of Brigadier General Jose Francisco Gallardo Rodriguez
Brigadier General Jose Francisco Gallardo Rodriguez, who was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience in 1994, has been under military arrest since November 1993, after publishing extracts from his MA dissertation in the Mexican magazine Forum. In the article he called for the creation of an ombudsman for the armed forces to investigate reports of human rights violations against soldiers and civilians by members of the forces. He is accused of a series of crimes against the armed forces. The director of Forum, Eduardo Ibarra Aguirre was also charged with libel and breaking the Ley de Imprenta, Publishing Law. In October 1995 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights urged the authorities to immediately release General Gallardo and to investigate threats made against him and his family. To date the authorities have failed to respond, and General Gallardo remains imprisoned.