Born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Rivera received her Bachelor of Arts from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, where she met Garza Lagüera. They were married in 1957.
Rivera was married to Eugenio Garza Lagüera until his death in 2008. Her net worth in 2014, according to Forbes magazine, is $7.4 billion. She is the fifth wealthiest person in Mexico, and the 189th wealthiest in the world.