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¾ length view of a man in a formal long coat wearing a tophat. Trees and landscape are in the background.

Luis Muñoz Rivera (1859–1916)

Luis Muñoz Rivera was a leading voice of Puerto Rico’s Autonomist Party, which sought self-governance under Spanish rule before 1898. After the U.S. occupation, he passionately objected to the 1900 Foraker Act, which established a temporary civil government with U.S.-appointed functionaries and little local participation. “The inventors of this labyrinth find pleasure in repeating that we are not prepared [for self-government],” he declared. 

In 1904, Muñoz Rivera founded the Partido Unión de Puerto Rico, which supported Puerto Rico’s control over local affairs and won consecutive elections for the next twenty years. In 1911, he became resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, the island’s non-voting delegate in Washington, D.C. He continued to advocate for increased political freedom and equality for Puerto Ricans until his death. This portrait of Muñoz Rivera, against the backdrop of the U.S Capitol, was commissioned as a funerary homage by the Insular Police Corps, a division he helped establish.

Fernando Díaz Mackenna (1873–1931)
Oil on canvas
152.4 × 124.5 cm (60 × 49 in.)
Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña