'Evita' Peron stars once again on Argentine bills
The new series of Argentine peso notes are displayed on screens during the presentation at the Bicentennial Museum of Casa Rosada House of Government in Buenos Aires, on May 23, 2022 Luis ROBAYO AFP

Eva Peron is back on Argentina's currency, six years after the mythic former first lady -- who died 70 years ago -- was replaced by an Andean deer.

The Central Bank of Argentina on Monday presented its new series of 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 peso notes ($0.80, $1.60, $4 and $8) which, according to a press release, "mark the return of historical heroes and heroines" to the South American country's paper money.

Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, "Evita" as many Argentines still affectionately call her, came from a humble background and had married Juan Domingo Peron, before he became president (from 1946 to 1955, then again in 1973-74).

Together, they founded and embodied Peronism, an eclectic mass movement, with sometimes opposing political currents but with a pronounced populist social bent.

It became the main political force in the country in the second half of the 20th century.

Eva Peron died in 1952 at the age of 33 from cancer, a premature death which contributed to her legend of fighting for women's rights during her husband's presidency.

Her profile had been incorporated into the 100 peso banknotes in 2012 at the initiative of the then-Peronist president Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015).

Then in 2016, under the presidency of the liberal Mauricio Macri, a new series of banknotes was issued that featured endangered local animal species.

On the 100 peso notes, Evita had been replaced by the taruca, a species of Andean deer.

In an unusual turn of events, Evita is now making a new appearance, this time under a center-left government of which Cristina Kirchner is vice-president.

Among the new faces on the 2022 banknote series are also Juana Azurduy, heroine of the Latin American wars of independence, mestizo with Spanish and Indian roots, and Maria Remedios del Valle, fighter for the independence of Argentina, who has European and African origins.

© 2022 AFP