11 November 2020
Tribute to Postal Worker’s COVID-19
Mexico: Tribute to Postal Workers COVID-19, 11 November 2020. Images from Servicio Postal Mexicanos Filatelia.
Name: Homenaje a Empleados Postales (Tribute to Postal Workers) COVID-19
Price: $7.00 Pesos
Issue Date: 11/11/2020
Paper: Matte white couché, self-adhesive 110 g / m2
Designer: Rodolfo Espíndola Betancourt
Size: 40 x 48 mm
Printing: Offset lithography
Stamps per sheet: 25
Print run: 100,000
November 12 is Dia del Cartero — Postman’s Day — in México. The country reserves special days for almost all trades; more than 20,000 postal workers have the day off and citizens will give them a small bonus, typically between 25 and 100 pesos, dependent on how good of a job they believe their mail carrier has done and in appreciation of the work they carry out.
In Spanish, the word for post is correo, from the verb correr, meaning to run. It’s a direct reference to the original ‘message runners’ (corredores) which preceded the formalized postal service. During Aztec times, the main pathways and roads connecting different locations had small towers alongside them, situated apart every six miles (ten kilometers) or so. With these in place, relay runners would carry written messages — as well as other items — using the towers as relay and distribution stations. Legend has it that Emperor Moctezuma ate fresh fish, caught daily off the shores of Veracruz, by means of this relay delivery system.
When Hernán Cortés brought horses from Europe with him following the 1521 conquest, horseback riders replaced runners as a means to carry the messages and goods between the main towns and cities across the country. After 1579, the right to operate the posts was farmed out to members of the nobility, who were known as Correo Mayor de la Nueva España. The most important part of their operation was the route between México City and Veracruz.
In 1742, the administrator of posts in Madrid was ordered to improve the Mexican system, resulting in the 1745 establishment of a weekly post between México City and Oaxaca, followed in 1748 by a monthly service to Guatemala. In 1765, the Spanish crown bought back the rights to the postal service, effectively “nationalizing” the posts.
In 1813, México established its first formal postal service, which delivered regular messages between México City and the provinces each month. In 1824, México’s Treasury Department took over the postal system and this led to the issuance of México’s first postage stamps in August 1856 with a series of five stamps valued in ½ real, 1 real, 2 reals, 4 reals, and 8 reals. These carried the same design of the “father of México’s revolution”, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.. After their printing at México City, they were distributed to the district post offices where they were overprinted with their names before being issued to the public. This process was an anti-theft measure as any non-overprinted stamps were considered stolen, hence, invalid.
Further developments of the Mexican postal service took place during the reign of Maximilian, which included the installation of post boxes in urban areas. In 1910, Porfirio Diaz ordered the construction of the country’s main post office, the Palacio Postal, a grand building that remains in operation to this day in the downtown historic district of México City. By this time, trains were also being used to ferry messages and goods around the country.
Today, the use of railways has all but vanished and have yielded to road and air transport systems as the means to deliver post and parcels over long distances. However, the “last mile” of delivery continues to be undertaken by an army of dedicated postmen (and increasingly, women — although it’s still mostly a male-dominated job) on foot, cycle, and motorcycle.
Dia del Cartero was established in México on November 12, 1931, the result of retired army colonel Luis G. Franco peering out his window during a torrential downpour in México City. Franco spotted a postman removing his coat and covering the mail with it so that it wouldn’t become soaked. He was so touched by this act that he petitioned his godfather, President Pascuel Ortiz Rubio, to hold a celebration in honor of the nation’s postmen. This fiesta took place on November 12, 1931, at the penitentiary in México City.
In 1947, México’s Dirección General de Correos issued its first special stamp commemorating the work and efforts of the nation’s postal delivery men, labeling it “Anonymous Hero” (Scott #825). A total of fourteen stamps were issued to mark Día del Cartero in 1997 (Scott #2558, #2559a-d in a block of four, and #256a-i in a sheet of nine). A total of six stamps were issued this year (2020) in conjunction with Postman’s Day, the single stamp “Tribute to Postal Workers COVID-19” depicted above and a strip of five specifically for DÍa del Cartero (see post here).
The first day ceremony for these six stamps was held in Mexico City on 11 November 2020. The following is a machine translation of the press release provided on the Gobierno de México website:
With dedication and sacrifice, postmen render a valuable service to society: Jorge Arganis Díaz-Leal
• The Secretary of Communications and Transportation led the celebration of the “Postman Day” and the “Tribute to Postal Employees COVID-19”
• Recognized postmen with the longest service and reminded postal employees who died from the virus, who were given a minute of silence and a minute of applause
Being a postman is synonymous with dedication and sacrifice, but also with pride and satisfaction for the service they provide to society, always fulfilling their duty, said the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, Jorge Arganis Díaz-Leal.
At the head of the celebration and cancellation of the postage stamps of the “Postman Day” and the “Tribute to Postal Employees COVID-19”, the head of the SCT said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mexican Postal Service (Sepomex ) has remained in operation, since it is part of the essential activities of the economy and the transfer of products for health and care of people.
However, the application of strict sanitary protocols, we have had to mourn the death of 25 colleagues who lost the battle to a relentless and unknown virus; For them and their families our broadest appreciation, gratitude and affection, highlighted Arganis Díaz-Leal.
Accompanied by the Undersecretary of Transportation, Carlos Morán Moguel; the general coordinator of Logistics of the Mexican Postal Service (Sepomex / Correos), Rubén Maldonado Tristán, and by the general secretary of the National Union of Sepomex Workers, Manuel Fermín Acevedo González, the Secretary of Communications and Transportation assured that, as in others difficult moments, we are confident that we have enough strength to overcome adversity; because if something characterizes the postmen’s union, it is their spirit, fighting spirit and fulfillment of duty; Encouraged by their example, rest assured that together we will succeed.
At the event, postal employees who died from COVID-19 were reminded, who were given a minute of silence and a minute of applause, and recognitions were given, on behalf of all the postmen that make up the organization, to six employees with more seniority in service.
In the Patio de Posteros del Palacio Postal, he stressed that today Sepomex maintains a very important social function; However, it is necessary to renew some of its activities and undertake a major effort to modernize technology; We have to be more efficient and competitive, take up the best international practices in messaging and parcel delivery to adapt to the new times, maintaining the spirit of work and dedication to service that distinguishes us.
The workers recognized for years of service are: Mónica Selene Ríos García (25 years old), Verónica Rodríguez Mejía (28 years old), Juan Manuel Márquez Barrera (25 years old), Francisco Rafael Sandoval Cruz (30 years old), Águeda Hernández Colohua (28 years old) ), and Guillermo Martínez Cid (30 years old).
The canceled first day of issue postage stamp on the occasion of the “Postman’s Day” was designed by Jennifer Torres Rangel and produced with the illustration and digital composition technique in Cyan, magenta, yellow, black and security ink, in printing. offset, 24 by 40 millimeters, with clamping perforation.
The spreadsheet consists of 50 stamps (10 series of five stamps each), made on 110 g / m2 self-adhesive matte white couché paper. A print run of 100,000 copies was issued, with a face value of seven pesos each.
Meanwhile, the stamp “Tribute to postal employees COVID-19″ has the same technical characteristics as the previous one, only this was made by Rodolfo Espíndola Betancourt, and its size is 40 by 48 millimeters; the payroll consists of 25 stamps and 100,000 pieces were issued with a face value of seven pesos per unit.”
A video of a portion of the ceremony can be viewed via the Tweet below:
El secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Jorge Arganis Díaz-Leal, canceló las estampillas postales del #DíaDelCartero y el “Homenaje a Empleados Postales COVID-19”.
— SCT México (@SCT_mx) November 13, 2020