Benito Juárez now on The 500 peso bill and 20 peso bill

Benito Juárez, in full Benito Pablo Juárez García, (born March 21, 1806, San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca, Mexico—died July 18, 1872, Mexico City), national hero and president of Mexico (1861–72), who for three years (1864–67) fought against foreign occupation under the emperor Maximilian and who sought constitutional reforms to create a democratic federal republic.-Britannica

He held power during the tumultuous decade of the Liberal Reform and French invasion. In 1858 as head of the Supreme Court, he became president of Mexico by the succession mandated by the Constitution of 1857 when moderate liberal President Ignacio Comonfort was forced to resign by Mexican conservatives. Juárez remained in the presidential office until his death by natural causes in 1872.-Wiki

Because the clergy was supporting the conservatives against the legal government, Juárez enacted several laws to curb ecclesiastical power. He nationalized all church property, exempting only those buildings actually used for worship and instruction. To weaken clerical influence still further, he also nationalized the cemeteries and put birth registrations and marriages under the civil authority. Finally, the government separated church and state and guaranteed religious liberty to all citizens.-Britannica

 

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