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The crisis of 1935

The United States passed its American Silver Purchase Act on 19 June 1934: this caused the price of silver to increase and as a result, in Mexico, silver coins began to be hoarded to be remelted at a profit. On 25 April 1935 the Mexican government reacted with a series of reforms, changing the fineness of its coinage, and withdrawing silver coins from circulation. It had ordered 50c coins (tostones) and $1 Banco de México notes from the United States but until these arrived the sudden shortage of small change led to local businesses and Chambers of Commerce issuing scrip in the form of bearer cheques (cheques al portador).

Cheques of casas comerciales

From 27 April 1935 the Banco Comercial de DurangoIts manager was Melchor D. Caballero. advised its customers, in view of the shortage of small change, to issues cheques for amounts as little as one centavoDiario de Durango, Año XVI, Tomo XVI, No. 4183, 30 April 1935. The bank also arranged with the local Cámara Nacional de Comercio for some casas comerciales to issue $1 cheques, backed by deposits in the bank. By 31 April thousands of cheques of the bank or of such casas were in circulationLa Tribuna (Durango), Año II, Núm. 522, 1 May 1935 and the bank was cashing a great quantity of cheques of low valuesLa Tribuna (Durango), Año II, Núm. 523, 3 May 1935.

Cámara Nacional de Comercio drawn on the Banco Comercial de Durango

On 3 May the Cámara Nacional de Comercio agreed to issue printed $1 cheques drawn on the Banco Comercial de DurangoLa Tribuna (Durango), Año II, Núm. 524, 4 May 1935. The notes were to be signed by members of the Directiva of the Cámara, so we can expect notes signed by Salvador Mendivil, Pedro S. Díaz, Agustín S. Ramírez, Miguel Langoné, Francisco M. Flores and Aurelio de la Parra.

Pedro S. Díaz was a printer.

In September 1912 Díaz began to produce a weekly magazine, El Figaro, but its last issue appeared in June 1913 just before the rebels took over the city. From at least 1926 to 1945 he was running the Tipografía Pedro S. Díaz.


Aurelio de la Parra de la Parra was born on 4 December 1883 and died on 26 February 1965 at the age of 81.

He founded the café and restaurant “Excelsior”, siutated at the corner of calle 5 de febrero and calle Juárez. It was popular with families and young people of the middle class, with its dishes and particularly with its home-made ice lollies, that had an owl (tecolote) printed on their wrapping as a hallmark.

Francisco M. Flores was one of the founding members of the Cámara de Comercio on 26 August 1915 and elected to its first board.  
Miguel Langoné  
Salvador Mendívil Bayona In 1923 Salvador Mendívil Bayona obtained the authorization to distribute Ford motor products in Durango and Mendívil Motors opened on 1 September 1924.  
Agustín S. Ramírez ran "Las Tres Rosas", an air-conditioned store for clothing and novelties at calle 5 de febrero no. 84.  


Apparently no note has survived: if they did, we might have found that the Cámara also opted for 50c notes.

On 17 May the Oficinas de Correos y Telégrafos, allegedly on instructions from the Secretaría de Hacienda, refused to accept the $1 chequesDiario de Durango, Año XVI, Tomo XVI, No. 4196, 17 May 1935. The same day the first $1 Banco de México notes were brought in by travellers from Mexico CityDiario de Durango, Año XVI, Tomo XVI, No. 4196, 17 May 1935.