Born in the Department of Putumayo, Mr. Rivera graduated as a Lawyer at the Universidad Externado de Colombia. He was the representative before the Board of Trustees of the School of Law, elected via direct vote by the students.
He was part of the Student Movement for the Seventh Ballot, which promoted the establishment and popular election of the National Constitutional Assembly that gave birth to the 1991 Constitution.
In 1995 he was admitted to the Institute of Higher Development Studies in Paris, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Analysis of Contemporary Political, Economic and International Problems.
He served as Government Secretary of Putumayo in 1998, position from which he promoted the creation of the Departmental Peace Council.
Mr. Rivera was elected to the House of Representatives for his department in 2002, and reelected in 2006 and 2010.