Spain, a long time victim of pirating, suffering heavy losses from the pirates and deciding that Sir Henry Morgan’s Portobelo raid in 1669 was the last straw, sanctioned the governors of its colonies in the procurement of privateers and disbursement of ”Letters of Marque”. Few pirates responded to this act, but Rivero, who was Portuguese, did and rushed out to seek enemy nation’s ships to prey upon.
In 1670, Rivero, in command of the San Pedro left Cartagena for Jamaica but but was forced to change course because of winds. Rivero sacked the poor settlement on Grand Cayman Island and seized two small boats as well as taking four children. With his meager booty, he went to Cuba. Once there he found out that Bernard Speirdyke, the dutch pirate, was at Manzanillo. Rivero set out to do battle with Speirdyke. Rivero was victorious in the battle and seized the Dutchman’s ship.
Rivero returned to a hero’s welcome in Cartagena in March 1670 and was made admiral of the Spanish corsairs. Rivero next went to Jamaica with two ships and captured a sloop and raided isolated villages in the north. His next venture took him to the southern coast of Jamaica where he issued a challenge to Henry Morgan:
I, Captain Manuel Pardal, to the chief of the privateers in Jamaica.
I come to seek General Henry Morgan, with 2 ships and twenty’one guns. When he has seen this challenge, I beg that he will come out and seek me, that he may see the valour of the Spaniards.
Governor Modyford of Jamaica commissioned Morgan to defend Jamaica. Morgan assembled all French and English pirates that were at Jamaica and set sail, but instead of looking for Rivero, they sailed to Panama and sacked the town. While all this was going on, John Morris encountered Rivero off the Cuban coast. Rivero’s ship was boarded by Morris’ men. The crew panicked and jumped overboard, where they either drowned or were shot by Morris’ men. Morgan chased Rivero ashore and shot him to death in 1670.