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The crisis of 1943

Yucatan 1943

In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis. A combination of reasons - anticipation of a rise in the price of silver; the Mexican government’s agreement to sell practically its entire silver production to the United States for its military industry; and a boom in the Mexican and US jewellery industries - caused the price of silver to rise and silver coins to be hoarded. On 21 August Mexico imposed a heavy export tax on silver products, to make it unprofitable to melt down silver coins to ship as bullion, and temporarily suspended a contract which promised all surplus silver production to the United States. However because of a shortage of fractional coinage, especially the fifty centavos denomination, it was compelled to authorise banks to issue cheques with printed denominations of twenty- five and fifty centavos. while it arranged for the production of new coins.


Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Mêrida

The Chamber of Commerce made at least three issues of cheques drawn on the Banco de Yucatan, S. A.The Banco de Yucatán, S.A. was founded in April 1934 with an authorised capital of $500,000. The composition of its board of directors demonstrated the close relationship between the henequen landowners, their representatives on the Cooperativa “Henequeneros de Yucatán” and state and federal authorities. Its president was Arturo Ponce Cámara, who in turn was managing director of the Cooperativa "Henequeneros de Yucatán" on behalf of the Union of Henequen Producers, its vice-president Rafael C. Torres, representative of the Banco de México in Mérida, and board member Agustín Vales Millet, chairman of the board of the Compañía Harinera Peninsular, S.A. and former president of the Cámara de Comercio. The secretary was Fernando Cervera Monsreal, who served as governor Bartolomé García Correa's representative on the Cooperativa's board of directors. As comisarios were Félix Lejeune, of the Compañía Montes & Lejeune, exporter of henequen fibre and general director of the “San Juan", S.A, ropeworks and Pedro Alcalá Hernández, also on the “San Juan” board. Among the alternate members of the first board of directors were Arturo Ponce G. Cantón, who had been appointed general manager of the "Cervecería Yucateca" in 1932 and was the son of Arturo Ponce Cámara; Arturo López Alonso, executive manager of the Cooperativa "Henequeneros de Yucatán"; Enrique Cantillo, who would be appointed the governor’s representative in the Cooperative in 1935, and Carlos Vales Millet who in 1938 would preside over the "San Juan" ropeworks..

Banco de Yucatan 50c

The first issue, dated 19 August, was for 50,000 notes with a value of $25,000. They were printed by the Cía. Tipográfica Yucateca on special light green paper, with a purple henequen plant as a background, the legend in black and the number in redDiario de Yucatán, Tomo LXIV, Año XIX, Núm. 6113. 22 August 1943. They were signed by one of ten directors and had the datestamp of the CámaraDiario del Sureste, Mérida, Año XII, Tomo XXXXVII, Núm. 4026, 22 August 1943. The Chamber issued a notice in the press.

A second issue was dated 25 September. For this the manager, Arturo Rendón R., got off the bench and signed some of the notes.

Banco de Yucatan 50c 125165

  date on note
from to total
signed by  
50c 19 August 1943         Julio Patrón Cervera  
        Delio E. Alonso  
        Miguel Peón de Regil  
        Ramón Febles Castro  
        Fernando Cervera Monsreal  
        Eugenio Herrero González  
        Enrique Ferráez Padilla  
        Angel Thomas  
        Ricardo Bolio Gutiérrez  
        Enrique Losa Larrondo  
25 September 1943          Enrique Ferráez Padilla includes number 125165
        Arturo Rendón Rendón includes number 144667


Thus the signatories were the following. Most of these are frequently mentioned in the Periódico Oficial over the decades, in various judicial notices, showing that, as expected, they were all prominent businessmen.

Delio E. Alonso was one of the founders of the company Casas de Concreto Prefabricado which produced many of the houses in Colonia México, Mérida.  
Ricardo Bolio GutierrezRicardo Bolio Gutiérrez  

Fernando Cervera Monsreal was secretary of the Banco de Yucatán. He served as governor Bartolomé García Correa's representative on the board of the Cooperativa "Henequeneros de Yucatán".

He died in Mérida on 26 May 1961.


Ramón Febles Castro

He died in Mérida on 21 December 1954.

Enrique Ferraez PadillaBy 1942 Enrique Ferráez Padilla was running the company Ferraéz Hermanos with his brother Antonio, operating “La Paloma” at calle 59A núm. 540 and dealing in general merchandise (la compra y venta, exportación e impoprtación de todas clase de mercancías nacionales y extranjeras, y en general, toda clase de operaciones mercantiles lícitas)Periódico Oficial, 17 September 1942.  sig Ferraez

Eugenio HerreroEugenio Herrero González was born in Spain on 21 November 1890 and migrated to Mexico on 6 November 1905 Secretaría de Gobernación, Registro Nacional de Extranjeros en México.

He was president of the Cámara de Comercio in 1931-1932.

He died in June 1956Periódico Oficial, 7 August 1956.


Romilio Enrique Losa Larrondo

In February 1949 Enrique Losa Larrondo and Emilio Sansores Ponce established Losa y Sansores, S. en C, mainly to deal in the liquor trade (la fabricación, compra-venta, importación y exportación de vinos y licores, en bases cerrados, así como de toda clase de mercancías nacionales y extranjeras, y en general el desempeño de comisiones y representaciones y la celebración de todos los actos mercantiles e industriales que permitan una ganancia lícita y que acuerden los socios) with Sansores Ponce in charge of day-to-day businessPeriódico Oficial, 15 March 1949 and in June 1961 Losa Larrondo established Vinos y Licores de Mérida, S. A. with himself as AdministradorPeriódico Oficial, 13 July 1961.


Julio Patron CJulio Patrón Cervera was born on 14 June 1906, to a prominent family. He was one of the leading financiers in Yucatán, and in 1948 was on the board of the Banco del Sureste, founded in 1943. He was president of the Cámara in this year.

He died on 11 June 1968Diario de Yucatán, Núm. 15,480, 12 June 1968.

sig Patron 2

Miguel PeonMiguel Peón de Regil was born in 1903.

In 1938 he was appointed gerente of the newly-formed Distribuidora de Productos Agrícolas e Industriales, S. A.The company's objects were 'agencia, compraventa, importación, exportación, realización y el comercio en general de cualesquiera productos agrícolas e industriales, nacionales y extranjeros, así como cualesquiera otros actos, operaciones y contratos, civiles o mercantiles.' (Periódico Oficial, 28 July 1938).

He was president of the Cámara de Comercio in 1941 and in February 1942 appointed manager (Gerente-Director) of the newly-formed “Industria y Comercio, S. A.”Its objects were the 'compra, venta, importación y exportación de toda clase de mercancías nacionales y extranjeras, la ejecución de toda clase de comisiones y representaciones, y en general llevar a cabo todas las operaciones mercantiles e industriales que permitan una ganancia lícita' (Periódico Oficial, 3 March 1942). He was manager of the Banco del Sureste from 1943 until 1954.

He died in Mérida in 1958.

sig Peon 1

Arturo Rendón Rendón

In 1936 Arturo Rendón Rendón was Secretario of the Fábrica de Mosaicos Hidraulicos, S. A.Periódico Oficial, 6 October 1936. He was gerente of the Cámara in April 1942 and still there in January 1962.

He died in Mérida on 12 June 1966.

sig Rendon

In May 1926 Angel Thomas was put in charge of the establishment “El Mundo Elegante” by Francisco M. GonzálezPeriódico Oficial, 8 May 1926. Then on 1 July 1932 he opened his own shoe shop (expendio de calzado) at calle 60 núm. 502Periódico Oficial, 5 July 1932. He was involved in Miguel Delgado S en C, which ran “Novelty”, a store dedicated to buying and selling articles for men but left in February 1942Periódico Oficial, 27 February 1942.



A more professional issue is dated 19 November and has the facsimile signatures of Julio Patrón Cervera as Presidente and Miguel Peón de Regil as Tesorero.

Camara 50c 301954

Camara 50c 301954 reverse

  from to total
50c         includes numbers 216084CNBanxico #6554 to 351312CNBanxico #12409


Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Progreso

In the port of Progreso some businesses issued notes (tickets) to make up for the lack of change. Therefore, on 25 August, the local Chamber of Commerce agreed to issue 10,000 50c cheques[image needed] drawn on the Banco de Yucatán, S. A. As it expected these to be in circulation by 30 August, in a press notice it called on businesses to withdraw their tickets within 24 hours, and for the public no longer to accept them. The Presidente at the time was Fernando M. Ortega and the Secretario Eudaldo B. Cruz P., so they were probably among the signatories.

Fernando M. Ortega  
Eudaldo B. Cruz P.  


Tesorería Municipal y Comercio de Dzemul

Dzemul 25c

Dzemul 25c. reverse

Dzemul is a town 50 kilometres northeast of Mérida.

This 25c piece, with its design based on the first Mérida issue above, shows that the authorities and businesses at least contemplated issuing notes to address a shortage of small change, as late as December 1943.

Sabas C. Flores  
Sabas S. Cuevas