A charcoal sketch of Rodrigo Rojas hangs proudly in a Belmont Road NW office where his mother, Veronica De Negri, has worked fervently during the past year to see justice served.

The drawing is by an artist who never met Rojas, but who, like others who have paid tribute, was moved and angered by the way he died. The 19-year-old photographer, raised in Washington, was killed during a visit to his native Chile, the handsome face gruesomely charred along with 60 percent of his body by flames set by Chilean soldiers. His hair was singed so completely that one witness in Santiago would describe Rojas as a ghost.

Yesterday, the first anniversary of Rojas' death was marked by the opening of an exhibit of his photographs at the city's Office of Latino Affairs, located in the municipal building at 14th and U streets NW, and by a proclamation by Mayor Marion Barry declaring Rodrigo Rojas Week in the District. A similar exhibition of Rojas' work opened this month in Santiago, where Rojas has become almost a folk hero.

For De Negri, who once was a government employe in Chile, the battle goes on. "I'm determined to fight for justice, although I know it won't take place under {Gen. Augusto} Pinochet," she said of the Chilean dictator, whom human rights advocates blame for Rojas' death and thousands of others.

By giving interviews, lecturing at universities around the world and filing a $10 million lawsuit against the government of Chile, De Negri has helped make her son's death a constant irritant to the Pinochet regime. "His death is creating more trouble for Pinochet than any other death in that country," she said.

But she said the horror of the way her son died, more than anything else, is responsible for awakening outrage. "It's been amazing to see all the spiritual reaction," she said. "I have piles of letters from all over the world. The support I got from everybody is so incredible."

One Chilean Army lieutenant was charged with unnecessary violence in connection with Rojas' death, but that charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor charge of neglect. De Negri said she recently discovered the man has been promoted to captain.

In Chile, Rojas is seen by many, especially young people, as a martyr. In defiance of the Pinochet regime, Chileans have banded together to build the Rodrigo Rojas Cultural Activities Center, located near the spot he was burned. A mural also was painted near that spot and is redone whenever supporters of the government deface it.

Rojas was working as a photographer and living a lifelong ambition to return to his homeland when he was slain. Soldiers, breaking up a scheduled demonstration last July 2 that Rojas was going to photograph, doused him and friend Carmen Gloria Quintana with gasoline, then set the couple on fire, according to witnesses. He died four days later amid charges that a local hospital had refused to release him to a facility better equipped to handle burn cases. Quintana also was badly burned but survived.

It was the second tragedy De Negri had faced at the hands of the Chilean government. A former employe of the minister of public works in Chile, De Negri, 39, was an outspoken feminist and trade union activist until the coup of 1973, after which she was imprisoned. She says she was repeatedly tortured and raped before being exiled.

She hesitates when asked if she has come to terms with her son's death. "It's been a very rough year," she said. "You always have to be so rational to fight for justice. I never let my feelings out. But what I have to do is dignify my son's death. It would be disgusting for my other son, Pablo, to see that his mother is not providing for his brother."