Evita the new face of Argentina's 100-peso bill


Reproduction of a model of the new 100-peso bill with the portrait of Eva Duarte de Peron, popularly known as Evita, second wife of three-time Argentine President Juan Peron, during a ceremony held at Casa Rosada government house in Buenos Aires on July 25, 2012.



Argentine President Cristina Fernandez unveiled a commemorative banknote on Wednesday bearing the image of Evita Peron, marking the 60th anniversary of her death and making her the first woman to appear on Argentine money.

The bill is based on the design of a five-peso note that had been planned for circulation after Evita died of cancer at the height of her popularity, but that went missing during the coup that took out her husband, late former President Gen. Juan Person, reported Reuters.

"It's a homage that we don't just owe to her, we owe it to ourselves," said Fernandez, who belongs to the Peronist party. "She wasn't perfect, she wasn't a saint. On the contrary... she was an ordinary woman who had the immense fortune to find her place with a man and with a nation."

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Fernandez went on to say that although the initial printing of the bill will be commemorative, she wants all new 100-peso notes to bear the first lady's image, according to the Associated Press. It would replace the current bill, which carries the image of controversial former President Julio Argentino Roca.

"After 200 years, it's the first time that a woman appears on a bill, and if you have to honor the gender, who better than the figure of Eva?" Fernandez asked.

Evita, whose real name is Eva Peron, was the illegitimate daughter of a rancher who was idolized by poor and working-class Argentines during her time as first lady and afterward, said the Los Angeles Times. Her romance with Peron prior to their marriage in 1945, her love of the Argentine people and the 16-year disappearance of her body after she died of cancer at age 33 were all the subject of author Tomas Eloy Martinez's classic book "Santa Evita," which has been translated into 30 languages.