REYES, Rafael, Colombian explorer_ soldier and statesman: b. Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Boyoca, 1852. He served as Minister of the Interior under President Nfifiez, was Minister to France and Switzerland and dele gate to the second Pan-American Conference in Mexico. In 1904 he was elected President of Colombia. He greatly improved the internal affairs of the republic. He resigned in 1910. Beside the public service rendered by him when he traveled during several years in unknown parts of the Amazon Basin, the facts in his career which deserve special notice are the fol lowing: He was commander-in-chief of the Colombian army; was sent to Washington, after Colombia had lost Panama, to esave whatever he could from the wreck' ; and in this patriotic effort he was certainly not altogether unsuccess ful, since he gained courage to advocate on his return to Bogota the policy indicated in the re port which he submitted to his government. He advocated, sensibly, courageously and magnan imously, a frank acknowledgment by his people of their own bhuidering which had-contributed to the disaster; and he continued to show his people how the natural resources of the vast territory still remaining in their possession could be developed by attraoting foreign capital.
He succeeded. The very great imperfectly de fined powers of the Presidency were entrusted to him, despite the old ultra Conservatives' hostility to. foreign enterprise, and despite the suicidal scheme of the Liberals for permitting Colombia to be absorbed by Venezuela and Ecuador. His success saved Colombia from a future of isola tion and stagnation, on the one hand, or, on the other hand, nearly complete loss of identity. President Amador of Panama and President Reyes exchanged congratulatory messages in August, and the American Minister was re ceived at Bogota in December 1904 Dr. Reyes is the author of del Rafael Reyes' (1908) ; Colombia, Pro Ibero-America> • (1912); Two Americas' (1914).