Espinal, a remote village of about 24,000 inhabitants in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, has created a payment system that consists of “Tumin’s”, which means money the Totonac language, that are basically banknotes that are already circulating in nine municipalities in the state.
Authorities of the Central Bank of Mexico are concerned about this "monetary rebellion", as they have implemented this currency and are disregarding the Mexican peso as a form of payment.
The Tumin has been in circulation since November 2010, as part of an initiative that was started by a group of University Professors to help the economic activity in the region. But since late last year, this type of currency has been popularized and has spread to parts of the region.
"We do not have Mexican pesos because we are poor and that's why we invented our own currency", said Juan Castro Soto, the creator of this economic initiative and professor at the Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural (UVI).
"We want to promote production, that's the biggest challenge, generate local production. Because anything that is available to us is all international products, we no longer produce anything. The point is to go to a store and have alternatives, and if you look around, it’s all nothing but transnational products. If a seller has no providers, we will help them get a few ", explained Castro.
Although their goal was achieved by reactivating the economy of the region, the Central Bank executives have accused the creators of this new currency for speculation, economic damage, in addition to the crime of forgery and unauthorized substitution of the Mexican peso.