Career of Juan Rafael Mora Porras to be discussed Tuesday

This is the bicentennial year of the birth of  Juan Rafael Mora Porras, who, as president, was instrumental in raising military forces to fight the troops of William Walker in 1856.

So the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría is hosting a discussion of the career of Mora and that of his brother-in-law, José María Cañas, Tuesday at the Alajuela museum.

The country marks the war against the Nicaraguan filibusterers March 20, the anniversary of the battle of Santa Rosa, and April 11, the anniversary of the battle of Rivas.

Less known was that the Costa Ricans at the time heard the campaign described as a battle against invading Protestants.

The outcome was less than heroic. The troops brought back cholera to the rest of the nation and 10 percent of the population died, according to historical estimates.

Mora was a bit of an elitist, too, because he disenfranchised most of the population with a constitutional rewrite that restricted voting and holding office to the rich.

The historical record is not very clear on why he was deposed in1859. When he returned from exile in El Salvador a year later he was captured and executed in Puntarenas along with Cañas.

The museum discussion will be at 2 p.m.

José María Cañas and Juan Rafael Mora Porras

José María Cañas and Juan Rafael Mora Porras.

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