Do you know how long counterfeit coins have existed in Mexico?

05/04/2021

The problem of counterfeiting in Mexico dates back to the pre-Hispanic period and was present during the Viceroyalty with the circulation of the first coins, a product of a period in which mining was so profitable that it allowed the accumulation of wealth in fine metals.

However, it was not until the post-revolutionary period when it became more acute with the appearance of the first bills of exchange and paper money. Here is the history.

Pre-Hispanic times

Cocoa counterfeiting. Its contents were extracted and replaced with earth.

Colonial times

1530. Counterfeit coins. Alchemists and smelters manufactured counterfeit coins by the smelting process. An example was the so-called tepuzque, 'fraudulent gold'.

1535. The Casa de la Moneda (Mint) is founded in Mexico and the official manufacture of coins begins.

1653. Counterfeiters are punished: Matías Pinto is executed and Diego Barcina is banished to the Philippines.

1807. Counterfeiting of tlacos and cuartillas in San Luis Potosí.

Time of the Revolution

1913. Massive counterfeiting of "bilimbiques" increasing the monetary problem in Mexico.

1915. Two counterfeiters are shot. Carlos Bringas and his son were executed in Puebla at the Escuela de Tiro.

1916. Printing of the so-called "unforgeable bills" that soon disappeared due to a devaluation.

Post-revolutionary period to the present day

1934. The circulation of a considerable amount of counterfeit 20 dollar bills is detected in Mexico City. The work was carried out by the internationally famous counterfeiter Alfredo Héctor Donadieu, better known as "Enrico Sampietro".

1938. Sampietro escapes from Lecumberri prison, where he was held for 13 years, with the help of a Cristero group that offered him guarantees and facilities in exchange for joining their cause.

1941. The first counterfeit of Banco de México banknotes in denominations of 10, 50, and 100 pesos is registered. After an exhaustive investigation, it is proven that it is the same technique used by Sampietro.

The Department of Special Investigations of the Banco de México is created under the direction of Dr. Alfonso Quiroz Cuarón, a criminologist of international prestige, with the purpose of locating the counterfeiting of paper money in our country.

1955. The Department of Special Investigations, headed by Rodrigo Gómez, is designated to cooperate with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

1961. After serving his sentence in Mexico, Enrico Sampietro is deported to France, his country of origin.

1990s. Technological advances have led to an increase in digital technology counterfeiting.

1994. From that year on, the Attorney General's Office -PGR- becomes the exclusive representative of Interpol in counterfeiting cases.

Source: El Financiero