The Monument to José Rizal dates from 1967. In a quieter section of Lomas de Chapultepec, the monument stands at a prominent intersection of Paseo de la Reforma and Montañas Rocallosas Ote.
- José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (1861–1896) was a Filipino nationalist, writer, and polymath active at the end of the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. Opposed to Spanish colonial tyranny, in 1882 he entered the Central University of Madrid. His studies were in medicine and humanities. By 1887, he’d completed a novel, Noli me tangere. The work reflected on the sufferings of Filipino people, and ridiculed the ruling religious hierarchy. It was quickly banned but inspired increasing rebellions among the local people.
- The day Rizal was executed Dec. 30, 1896, remains the turning point in the history of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines. The humanism with which he argued for the cause of Independence remains a strong component of the national democratic ideology of the Philippines even to this day.
- Although Mexico had achieved independence from Spain in 1821, the Philippines was only liberated from Spain in 1898. The country would then remain under foreign domination by the United States until 1946.
The sculpture is the 1962 work of Francisco Zúñiga. A Costa Rica-born sculptor, he went on to great fame in Mexico. This work from the artist’s most prolific decade, shows the intense sensitivity for which his work has been widely celebrated.