Hero of war against William Walker receives recognition

Saturday was the 200th anniversary of Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the president who led the country against the filibusters headed by William Walker in what is called the Campaña Nacional.

The military campaign was in 1856 and 1857.

President Laura Chinchilla inaugurated a plaque for Mora and declared Avenida Secunda to be Avenida del Libertador Juan Rafael Mora.

La Universidad Nacional opened an exhibit over the weekend that runs until November addressing the life of Mora.

The three-time president is considered a hero now, but he did not serve out his third term. He was deposed. Ms. Chinchilla referred to the dedication of the street as part of the recognition and justice that Mora did not get in life.

When he returned from exile in El Salvador in 1860, his forces were defeated near Puntarenas, and both he and his brother-in-law, Gen. José María Cañas Escamilla, were executed by firing squads.

The president noted that when Mora was in his last year as president he declared eduction to be obligatory in Costa Rica for all classes of society. Mora has been declared a national hero by the legislature. But his presidential tenure was controversial.

When his troops returned from their victory in Nicaragua against the forces of Walker, they brought back cholera that killed about 10 percent of the Costa Rican population.

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