In commemoration of the bicentenary of Peru's independence from Spain, the Peruvian Central Reserve Bank (BCRP) issued the numismatic series “La Mujer en el proceso de la Independencia” (The Woman in the Process of Independence). With this coin series the stunning numismatic culture is continued and the patriotic women who fought in many ways and even gave their lives for achieving Peru’s independence are honored and remembered with one of the most used coins in the country, the S/ 1 coin.
On the front of the 3 different Woman in the Process of Independence coins we find tough and clever women who used their inner conviction, courage and connections to do their part in the long and difficult Peruvian independence struggle; the back shows the Peruvian Coat of Arms surrounded by the writing Banco Central de Reserva del Perú (Central Reserve Bank of Peru) and the year of issue.
All coins in the series have the denomination of One Sol (S/ 1). They are a legal tender. The coins circulate simultaneously with all other S/ 1 coins and can be used in any transaction in Peru.
- Value: One Sol (S/ 1)
- Date of issue: December 30, 2020
- Diameter: 25.5 mm
- Mass: 7.32g
- Material: Alpaca (copper alloy with nickel and zinc)
- Mintage: 10 million coins of each motive
- Front image: Patriotic women crucial to Peru's struggle for independence and the logo of the National Mint on a background of vertical lines
- Back image: Peruvian Coat of Arms
- Legal tender: Yes
1st Woman in the Process of Independence coin - Toledo Heroines (Heroínas Toledo)
The first coin of The Woman in the Process of Independence numismatic series is dedicated to Cleofé Ramos de Toledo and her two daughters María and Higinia Toledo (in some sources the sisters are named Teresa and Rosa) - the Toledo heroines.
In March / April 1821, during the fight for independence the three women, native to Concepción, a small town 22 km (13 miles) northeast of Huancayo in the central highlands region of Junin, led a group of residents trying to slow down or even stop the advancing troops of the Spanish royalist General Jerónimo Valdés. With courage, bravery and lots of love for their country and town, they first blocked the way and then under fierce enemy fire cut the ropes of the suspension bridge over the Mantaro River - the access to their town - demolishing it completely. Through this act they hindered Valdés rapid advance and bought the Patriotic Forces of General Juan Antonio Álvarez de Arenales enough time to withdraw to safety. Later José de San Martín, the principal leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire and Protector of Peru, awarded the mother and two daughters with the “Medal of Victory”.
2nd Woman in the Process of Independence coin – Maria Parado de Bellido
The second coin of The Woman in the Process of Independence numismatic series honors María Parado de Bellido, an indigenous Peruvian revolutionary, during the struggle for independence from Spain.
She was born in Ayacucho - back then named Huamanga - in 1777. Aged 15 Maria Parado married Mariano Bellido and had 7 children. While in 1820 her husband and sons collaborated with the Patriotic Forces who fought for independence against the Spanish royalists, she stayed in the background and started spying. As she was illiterate, she dictated letters including gathered information about enemy movements and plans to her trusted friend Matías Madrid and send these to her husband, who shared the crucial info with the regional leader of the Patriotic Forces. Thanks to her letters, many lives could be saved. With her unfortunate last letter she informed her husband about Spanish advances towards Quilcamachay. While the Patriotic Forces had enough time to retreat before the Spanish troops occupied the town, her letter was found carelessly forgotten in a jacket. Maria Parado was captured and interrogated, but she clarified that she rather dies than betrays her beloved country. She was famous for her statement "No estoy aquí para informar a ustedes, sino para sacrificarme por la causa de la libertad" (I’m not here to inform you, but to sacrifice myself for the cause of freedom). She was executed by firing squad on May 11, 1822.
3rd Woman in the Process of Independence coin – Brigida Silva de Ochoa
The third coin of The Woman in the Process of Independence numismatic series is dedicated to Brígida Silva de Ochoa, a Peruvian insurgent deeply committed to the independence of her beloved country.
Born in 1776 into a family supporting independence from the Spanish crown, at 18 she married Francisco Ochoa Camargo, a Cuzco native, who shared her political views. While her older brother, Coronal Remigio Silva, was imprisoned after the conspiracy of 1809, her younger brother Mateo arrested and imprisoned for ten years after the failed governmental overthrow of 1809, and her youngest son José Ochoa detained after a rebel defeat in Alto Peru for helping together with her in the escape of the catholic priest José Medina, Brígida Silva devoted her life to supporting imprisoned rebels. She served as a messenger between the Patriotic Forces and insurgents, a dangerous task. However, as her oldest son was an officer in the Artillery at the service of the King of Spain, she was never caught nor suspected of involvement; this gave her easy access to information about Spanish movements and plans, which she used to help her fellow insurgents. For her virtues and commitment to the cause of independence, José de San Martín, the principal leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire and Protector of Peru, declared Brígida Silva de Ochoa “Hija de la Patria”.