Iris México Presents the Dog that Defends the Peso

Iris México’s work quotes and refers to an unfortunate historical event: the devaluation of the peso, inflated budgets, and the lack of solidity and growth of the national economy. A little in the manner of the creations of political cartoonists, but within the language and territory of the visual arts, the author reflects a lacerating reality. In one corner of the work, we see an old peso (from the López Portillo era), and in the other corner a new peso (from the Salinas period), the result of successive devaluations.

Spicy Hmädi Iris Mexico Valparaíso. 2004. The Dog that Defends the Weight. Quote of José López Portillo.
Post-sculptural three-dimensionality. 60 x 70 x 60 cm.
Inflatable vinyl dog, old peso, and new peso over a piece of printed fabric.

José López Portillo (president from 1976 to 1982) stated: “Let’s defend our peso”, and pronounced the sad famous phrase “I will defend the peso like a dog”, however, there was a huge capital outflow from the country. In 1982 the peso collapsed, the devaluation was 866%, from being worth $ 15.36 MNX per dollar, it became worth $ 148.50). The bankruptcy forced the country to request international support. During the government of Miguel de la Madrid, the devaluation was 1443% (each dollar was worth $ 2,291.24 pesos). Under the mandate of President Salinas (1988-1994), the peso was devalued by 50%, we also saw the change from the old pesos to the new pesos, in another monetary adjustment (remove three zeros). With Zedillo the peso is devalued by 173.8%, it went from being worth $ 2,291 to be worth $ 3.49 ($ 3,490 old pesos) with Salinas to $ 9.24 ($ 9,240 old pesos) with Zedillo. In other words, the “new pesos” invented by the PRI are a kind of illusion to subtly evade the high level of devaluation of the national currency.

Currently, the exchange rate in 2020 with Manuel López Obrador tells us that 1 new Mexican peso (1,000 old pesos) is equivalent on average to 0.048 US dollars. In January 2020, according to Forbes, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated that the country’s inflation has remained at 2.83% in December 2019, one of the lowest rates since 2016, however, he acknowledged that the economy grows, since 2019 would have ended with 0% growth. The situation in 2020 does not look favorable in the middle of a pandemic. The “Grito” of September 2020 has been made with a map of the Mexican Republic represented in the Zócalo of the City, with the “flame of hope.”

We Mexicans hope that Mexico lives and is abundant, we hope to count on the leaders who will drive us towards that goal.

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