Juan Rafael Mora Porras, the 19th century president is a real comeback kid.
Even though his political career ended in front of a firing squad in Puntarenas in 1860, Mora is getting elaborate praise this year, the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Present day politicians were out in force Tuesday to honor the man. Sept. 30 was the day he was executed in 1860. There even is an anthem written to honor him that has become part of the public school curriculum. It can be found HERE!
There seems to be a collective guilt, at least among politicians, over the death of Mora and that of his brother-in-law, José María Cañas, a few days later. Mora has been the subject of a plaza at the foreign ministry, among other honors.
He was the president that rallied the country to defeat the potential invasion by William Walker’s forces in 1856. He also directed two other campaigns along the Río San Juan that eventually forced Walker to end his ambitions to be king of Central America.
Mora’s forces received a lot of help from Cornelius Vanderbilt and the British.
Tuesday a statue of the man called liberator and national hero received floral offerings from President Luis Guillermo Solís; Henry Mora, the president of the Asamblea Legislativa; Sandra Garcia Pérez, the mayor of San José, and Zarela Villanueva, president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.
Mora had been overthrown in a coup, and was captured when he returned to Costa Rica in an effort to regain power. The executions did have a beneficial result. After Cañas died the country eliminated the death penalty.