Paper Money

Bank of Mexico issues new 200-peso bank note

Mexico’s new 200-peso bank note entered circulation on Sept. 2, and for the first time in 41 years, Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz is not portrayed on Mexican paper money. The 17th century poet and writer first appeared on the brown 1,000-peso bank note in 1978 and was moved to the 200-peso denomination in 1993. 

The new note is mainly green in color, made of cotton, and measures 139 by 65 millimeters. 

The face recalls the start of Mexico’s War of Independence with its depiction of two heroes of that struggle. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a priest who, on Sept. 16, 1810, rallied the population through what is popularly called “el grito de Dolores” (the Cry of Dolores) and started the independence movement. José María Morelos y Pavón assumed the leadership of the independent movement after the death of Hidalgo and is known as the “Siervo de la Nación” (Servant of the Nation).

Busts of the pair are to the right of a vignette of the “Campana de Dolores” (Bell of Dolores), which was used to summon the population, starting the independence movement in the city of Dolores Hidalgo in central Mexico.

The back shows a royal eagle in flight over a landscape of the Pinacate biosphere reserve in Sonora state. The Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, as it is properly known, represents Mexico’s scrubland and desert ecosystem, with both volcanic and dune systems. It was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2003. Formed between 5 million and 150,000 years ago, a mile-wide, 656-foot-deep volcanic crater called El Elegante is the largest of the many on the reserve. In addition, the reserve protects 560 plant species, including some of the world’s largest cacti, and 40 species of mammals, 200 bird species, and 40 reptiles. 

The new and old notes will co-circulate. The Bank of Mexico says 887 million of the old ones remain in circulation. The note is worth the U.S. equivalent of about $10.25.

The bank also said that all notes printed in 2019 will have the legend 25 ANIVERSARIO DE LA AUTONOMÍA 1994–2019 (25th Anniversary of Autonomy 1994–2019), referring to the amendment to the Mexican Constitution in which autonomy was granted to the Bank of Mexico. 

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