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500 Bolivianos 1983, Bolivia

in Krause book Number: 166
Years of issue: 1983
Signatures: Gerente: Sr. Jaime Rossel Maldonado, Presidente: Sr. Herbert Müller Costas
Serie: 1982 - 1987 Issue
Specimen of: 01.06.1981
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 154 x 65
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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500 Bolivianos 1983




Portrait of Colonel Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo.


500 Bolivianos 1983

Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo

The engraving on banknote is made after this portrait of Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo.

Colonel Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo (October 13, 1838, San Pedro de Atacama – March 23, 1879) was Bolivia's foremost hero of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), which pitted Chile against Bolivia and Peru. He was one of the leaders of the civilian resistance to the Chilean invasion at the Battle of Topáter.

Abaroa was an engineer by trade, working in a silver mine located in the coastal region of Litoral, which Chile took from Bolivia during the War of the Pacific. During the Battle of Topáter (23 March 1879), the first armed clash of the war, Colonel Abaroa was part of a badly outnumbered Bolivian force defending a bridge that crossed the Topáter River and gave access to the city of Calama, an important desert oasis on the road to Bolivia. Refusing to surrender, after the outnumbered Bolivian military forces withdrew, he fought to his last breath, a feat that later transformed him into a revered national hero.

When, injured and surrounded, he was asked to surrender by the Chilean forces, he provided an answer that has gone into Bolivian folklore: "¿Rendirme yo? ¡Que se rinda su abuela, carajo!" ("Surrender? Your grandmother [is who] should surrender, you bastard!", or "Surrender, me? Let your grandmother surrender, dammit!", or, more literally, "Surrender, me? That your grandmother surrender herself, fuck!"), equivalent to saying "Surrender? Surrender my ass!". According to Chilean folklore he answered: "¿Quién, Yo?" ("Who, me?")

In 1952, on the 73rd anniversary of his death, the Bolivian Government repatriated Abaroa's body, burying it with full honors and in the midst of an impressive crowd (numbering in the tens of thousands) in the popular La Paz square that bears the hero's name. Plaza Abaroa (Abaroa Square) also contains a large bronze statue of the Bolivian martyr, presented in full pose and defiance, as he would have looked the moment before his death. His country honored him with a series of stamps (Scott#365-370 and C157-162). The stamps quoted his last words, eliding "carajo" with an ellipsis.

Eduardo Abaroa Province is named in his honor, as is Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. The anniversary of Abaroa's heroic death (March 23) is the national holiday in Bolivia Día del mar.


The coat of arms of Bolivia is centered.

The coat of arms of Bolivia has a central cartouche surrounded by Bolivian flags, muskets, laurel branches, and has an Andean condor on top.

The central cartouche has a border with ten stars in the bottom, which symbolize the nine Departamentos and the former province Litoral that was taken over by Chile in 1879, and the name of Bolivia in the top section. Within the border the silver mountain Potosí - recognized by a mine entrance — is depicted, with Inti in form of a sun rising above it, and with an alpaca standing next to a palm tree and some wheat. The alpaca stands on a plain that contrasts with the mountain. The mountain and its contrast with the plains are indicative of the geography of Bolivia. The llama is the national animal, related to the alpaca and the items next to it are symbolic of the resources of the nation.

Around the shield there are three Bolivian flags on each side. Behind these are two pairs of crossed rifles that symbolize the struggle for independence. Next to the muskets there are an axe and a red Phrygian hood, which is the symbol of liberty and freedom. The laurel branches are symbolic of peace, and the condor perched upon the shield is symbolic of a willingness to defend the nation and its liberty.

In some depictions of these coat of arms, the two pairs of muskets are replaced by two cannons. Other depictions also have more realistic symbols in the shield.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. In words at the bottom.


500 Bolivianos 1983


Antofagasta, Bolivia in 1879.

Antofagasta is a port city in northern Chile, about 1,100 kilometers (700 mi.) north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region

Formerly part of Bolivia, Antofagasta was captured by Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), and the transfer of sovereignty was finalized in the 1904 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.

The city of Antofagasta is closely linked to mining activity, being a major mining area of the country. The last decade has seen a steady growth in the areas of construction, retail, hotel accommodations, population growth, and remarkable skyline development.

Currently there are several theories to explain the origin of the name Antofagasta. A clear consensus regarding the true origin of the word has not yet been determined.

It is probably a compound word that comes from the southern Cacan "anto" (or "hattun", which means "Grande" –big-), "faya" (or "haya", which means "salar"–dry lake-) and "gasta" (meaning "pueblo"), being a toponymy meaning "Pueblo del Salar Grande" ("Town of the great salt lake").

According to other theories, it may be a compound word from the Quechua word "anta" (meaning "cobre" –copper-) and "Pakay" (meaning "esconder" –hidden-), being a toponymy meaning "Escondrijo del Cobre" ("Copper Cache"); it could also be related to the Chango language, "Antofagasti" (meaning "Puerta del Sol"- Sun Gate-), what the changos called the current natural monument "La Portada". However, it says the name Antofagasta is due to a decision by Manuel Mariano Melgarejo, who renamed the city in honor of a stay that he had in Antofagasta de la Sierra, in 1870.

In Chile, Antofagasta is known as "La Perla del Norte" (The Pearl of the North), for its historical and economic importance.

Bolivia created the "Departamento del Litoral", during the government of Andrés de Santa Cruz, in 1837, which was divided into two provinces: La Mar (with capital Cobija) and Atacama (with its capital in San Pedro de Atacama) and 1868, Antofagasta would be the capital of the province of Mejillones.

On 18 September 1866, José Santos Ossa and Francisco Puelma achieved the award of the concession of nitrate lands, following a request taken to the Bolivian government. The exploring of the Chilean miners found rich deposits of saltpeter (nitratine) in the field of Salar del Carmen, to the east of the present Antofagasta. Agreed to form the "Sociedad Exploradora del Desierto de Atacama" (Explorer Society of Atacama Desert). After the formation of the company, began to fill with what was called "La Chimba". On 19 March 1868, the "Melbourne Clark Company" was established, after the integration of Chilean and British capital.

After the tsunami in Iquique and Oprah Jiffy of 13 August 1868, it was necessary to give legal recognition to the Chimba as a mining town. On 27 August 1868, Bolivia's President Mariano Melgarejo instructed the Prefect of the Department of Litoral, the official founding of La Chimba, in the area bounded by the commissioners and Jose Santos Hilario Ruiz Prada.[citation needed] On 22 October 1868, the population was officially established and the port under the name La Chimba, as stated in the foundation charter. Later the city was renamed Antofagasta. The first official map of the population and the port of Antofagasta was designed by Jose Santos Prada on 14 September 1869. This document set out the grounds of the Melbourne Clark Company, plus 17 blocks and the Main Square.

On 8 May 1872, Antofagasta was appointed by the Bolivian Government as Puerto Mayor, open trade worldwide. Next year, on 25 January 1872, following a session led by the prefect of the Provincial Department of Mejillones, Manuel Buitrago, founded the Municipality of Antofagasta under Bolivian law of Municipalities, which formed the body of "Municipal Agents", composed of two Germans, one English and six Chileans.

On 27 November 1873, the "Compañía de Salitres y Ferrocarril de Antofagasta" signed a contract with the government of Bolivia, in which taxes were removed from mineral exploitation for 15 years. This contract was not ratified by the Congress of Bolivia, which was then analyzed negotiations with Chile.

In 1873 Bolivia signed a secret treaty of defensive alliance with Peru. This would be used as an argument 5 years later in Chile, when it unleashed the War of the Pacific. The secret alliance, forbade Bolivia from signing a border treaty with Chile, without consulting with Peru. However, in 1874 Chile and Bolivia signed a border treaty, which replaced the previous treaty of 1866. One of its points was not to impose new taxes on individuals, industries and Chilean capital for 25 years.

For Bolivia, the contract of 1873 between the government and "Compañía de Salitres y Ferrocarriles de Antofagasta" was not yet in force, because, according to the Bolivian constitution, all contracts with the Bolivian government had to be approved by Congress.

According to the Bolivian version of events, the contract with the company of saltpeter was incomplete so the congress, to approve the contract, decided to enforce a tax of 10 cents, which did not violate the treaty of 1874, since the contract was not yet in force at that date. Bolivia suspended the tax in deference to the government of Chile, but following a note from the Chilean foreign minister, it reactivated the tax law, then cancelled and closed the "Compañía de Salitres". Faced with a looming conflict with Chile, Bolivia decided to claim support under the agreement signed with Peru, and the treaty became effective with the Chilean occupation of Antofagasta, on 14 February 1879.

According to the Chilean version of events, the tax of 10 cents violated the treaty of 1874 since according to this, new taxes should not have been imposed on Chilean companies operating in Bolivia. At the breaking of the boundary treaty by Bolivia, and the cancellation of the contract of the "Compañía de Salitres y Ferrocarriles de Antofagasta", Chile seized Antofagasta, then in Bolivian territory, whose sovereignty had been ratified before 1866. After the war, a pact of truce was signed between Bolivia and Chile in 1884, which stated that the territory between the Loa River and parallel 23 would be under the administration of Chile, while Bolivia would be allowed access to the ports of Arica and Antofagasta. However, both treaties left outstanding issues to be clarified in two subsequent treaties, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Chile and Bolivia in 1904 and the 1929 Treaty of Lima in Peru.

Denominations in numerals repeated 3 times, in words - at the bottom.