Gobierno Convencionista

On 17 February 1915 the President of the Convention, Roque González Garza, authorised an issue of $100,00 in cartones of 5c, 10c and 20c. Thus, in late February 1915 it was reported that "the Zapatistas in Cuernavaca" had issued $100,000 in cartones of 20cLa Prensa, Año I, Tomo I, Núm. 18, 24 February 1915. The newspaper illustrated a cartón and pointed out that as it had no stamp or contraseña it would be very easy to counterfeit (In fact they were stamped and numbered). Although the Zapatistas had declared that they had not and would not issue paper currency, relying instead on the coins they minted, it was expected that they would do so quite soon. However, this was not exactly a Zapatista issue.

Presumably the other two values followed shortly after.


These were counterfeited. On 26 May some secret police and a detachment of soldiers raided a house in 16a calle del Ferrocarril Cintura in Colonia de la Bolsa, Mexico City. Manual Paniaguet and Carlos Gómez were killed in a shootout, and Humberto Paniaguet, María Trinidad Gómez, Rafacia Medina and Faustina Bello were arrested. The police recovered a press for printing notes and cartones, numerous types, jars of red and black ink and a revalidation stamp, similar to that used by the Tesorería de la Federación.
As well as sábanas the villains counterfeited Cuernavaca cartones, poorly printed so that they could be recognised as first sight, with illegible numbers and a coarse overstamp (pésimamente impresos con un tosco grabado que a primera vista denota su mala procedencia. La numeración es tan borrosa y desigual que es imposible decifrarla. El resello está ordinariamente imitado con una burda mancho de tinta)The Mexican Herald, Año XX, No. 7202, 28 May 1915.

We have counterfeit 20c cartones.

Apparently only a small part of the $100,000 was put into circulation, before the Convention moved to Mexico City. In March 1915 the Conventionist President Roque González Garza reported that, in spite of the difficulties in obtaining materials, they had so far issued $5,450.50 thus:

  Total Total value
5c 10,028 501.40
10c 10,170 1,071.00
20c 19,660 3,932.00


and had $5,700 more ready to put into circulationinforme of President Roque González Garza, Diario de los Debates, 4 March 1915. On 30 April it was reported that almost $15,000 had been in circulation in Cuernavaca but had been withdrawn gradually to avoid an economic upset and little remainedEl Norte, México, Tomo I, Núm. 9, 30 April 1915.

These cartones made it to Mexico City. In November 1915 Teniente Coronel José Morales Hesse, general manager of the Mexico City tram company, complained that on 2 August the company had been completely paralysed by the destruction of tracks, cars etc. and the lack of money to pay its worker, as its funds consisted of “billetes de “Toluca”, “Dos Caras”, “Sábanas villistas”, cartones falsos, emisión de veinte centavos, expedidos en Morelos, etc.El Pueblo, Mexico, 7 November 1915.

On 10 October 1915 the Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito authorised the issue of vales for $1 and $5[text needed].

These $5 notes are a companion to the 50c notes issued in Toluca, Estado de México, in August 1915.  They refers to the decree of 1 (sic: 1o in place of 10) October 1915 and cary the signatures of Luis Zubiría y Campa as Ministro de Hacienda and [   ] as Tesorero de la Federación.They claim to be backed by a deposit of revalidaded Gobierno Provisional de México notes, which cannot have inspired much confidence.

On 27 December 1915 the Consejo Ejecutivo decided that, since the Convention government lacked fractional paper currency and for this reason municipalities and certain military commanders had issues cartones for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos, that the municipal issues, whilst helping small transactions, were obligatory only in their locality, that this type of currency destroyed unity and was a danger to business, to individuals and to the forces, and that to improve the economic situation it needed a single coinage with a single guarantee, the Consejo Ejecutivo banned the ayuntamientos and military commanders from issuing paper currency, and authorised the Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público to make an issue of 50c notes and 5c, 10c and 20c copper coins, to replace the local cartones that would be withdrawnAGN, Colección Cuartel General del Sur, vol. 1, exp. 2, f. 42.

These 50c note have the signature of Jenaro Amezcua as Ministro de Hacienda and [   ] as Tesorero General. 

On 10 January 1916 the Consejo Ejecutivo, at Cuernavaca, passed a decree ratifying the 10 October decree and authorising the ministry to issue notes for $2 and $10. It added that the vales that had recently been issued by the Oficina Impresora de billetes convencionistas, without series or numbers, would be changed for this new issueAGN, Colección Cuartel General del Sur, vol. 1, exp. 2, f. 51.

The $2 notes refer to the decree of 10 January and also carry the signatures of Jenaro Amezcua as Ministro de Hacienda and [   ] as Tesorero General.

On 3 February the General Jefe de la Plaza in Yautepec, Eustacio Salazar, informed Zapata that the Pagador General, General Reyes, who was in Yautepec, had told him that he needed presses to print 50c, $2 and $10 notes. Since there were two or three presses belonging to General Salzar, enemigo de la causa, he asked permission to confiscate themAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 16, exp. 9 f 12 telegram Salazar, Yautepec to Zapata, Tlaltizapan, 3 February 1916. On [    ] it had been decided to make all the various paymasters answerable to one.