|— State —|
|Estado Libre y Soberano de Zacatecas|
|Motto: Labor Vincit Omnia
(Work Conquers All)
|Anthem: Marcha de Zacatecas|
|Admission||December 23, 1823|
|• Governor||Miguel Alonso Reyes|
|• Senators||Tomás Torres Mercado
Antonio Mejía Haro
José Trejo Reyes
|• Total||75,284 km2 (29,067 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,200 m (10,500 ft)|
|• Density||20/km2 ( 52/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||25th|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−5)|
|Postal code||98, 99|
|ISO 3166 code||MX-ZAC|
|HDI||0.7057 high Ranked 27th|
|GDP||US$ 5,171,913.8 th[a]|
|Website||Official Web Site|
|^ a. The state's GDP was 66,200,496 thousand of pesos in 2008, amount corresponding to 5,171,913.8 thousand of dollars, being a dollar worth 12.80 pesos (value of June 3, 2010).|
Zacatecas (Spanish pronunciation: [sakaˈtekas]), officially Free and Sovereign State of Zacatecas (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Zacatecas), is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is Zacatecas.
It is located in North-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Durango to the northwest, Coahuila to the north, Nayarit to the west, San Luis Potosí and Nuevo León to the east, and Jalisco, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes to the south.
The state of Zacatecas is best known for its rich deposits of silver and other minerals, its colonial architecture and its importance during the Mexican revolution. Its main economic activities are mining, agriculture and tourism.
Etymology and founding 
"Zacatecas" is the Nahuatl-derived name for one of the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region before the arrival of the Spanish. The name ultimately derives from the Nahuatl word for a type of grass common in the region, zacatl. The region where this grass grew was originally called Zacatlan, and its inhabitants, Zacateca, pluralized in Mexican Spanish to Zacatecas.
On September 8, 1546, with the discovery of its mines, the present city of Zacatecas was founded. It was originally baptized "Minas de los Zacatecas" or "Mines of the Zacatecas". Its rich mineral wealth gave the Spanish Crown a great amount of income (the silver mines in Zacatecas and Potosi, Bolivia, were the Spanish crown's largest sources of income during colonialism), which gave the city of Zacatecas the title of "Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de los Zacatecas".
Zacatecas is the eighth largest Mexican state with an area of 75,539 km² (29,166 sq mi). Occupying about 3.9% of the total land area of the nation. It is a bit larger than the country of Panama but smaller than the Czech Republic. It is located in the north-central region of Mexico and is bordered by the states of Durango to the northwest, Coahuila to the north, Nayarit to the west, San Luis Potosí and Nuevo León to the east, and Jalisco, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes to the south.
The State stretches from the Sierra Madre Oriental in the northeast, through the Central Plateau which makes up the most part of the state, to the Sierra Madre Oriental in the southwest. There is also a small portion of the state in the extreme southeast that is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. The average elevation is 2,100 meters with the highest points being: Sierra El Astillero at 3,200 m, Sierra de Sombrerete at 3,100 m, and Sierra Fria at 3,030 m. The Cañón del Río Juchipila is the lowest point in the state at 840 m.
There are two river basins in the state, the one that empties at the Pacific and the interior basin that lacks an exit to the sea and instead flows north towards the state of Coahuila. Some of the most important rivers include the Aguanaval, Juchipila, Atengo-San Andrés, Jerez, Valparaiso, Tlatenango, San Francisco, Villanueva, Palomas, and Bolaños.
There are forest of pines and evergreens in the sierras; in the valleys and plains there is a great abundance of mesquite, maguey, cactus, agave, pastures, huisache, and many other semi-desertic plants. An interesting tree that occurs in Zacatecas is the Elephant tree, Bursera microphylla.
In the sierras there are many wild boar, white-tailed deer and hares; in the valleys and plains it is common to find coyote, badgers, quails and ducks. The extreme northern part of the state is the southern fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert and as such is rich and diverse in biology. This desert is home to a large amount of cacti and is one of the most ecologically diverse deserts on earth.
After Miguel Hidalgo issued his call to rebellion against colonial authorities in 1810, his insurgent followers marched through Zacatecas; they would return the following year, during a hasty retreat into the northern deserts after being routed by a Royalist army near Mexico City. Mexico gained independence in 1821, and Zacatecas was incorporated as a federal state three years later. Zacatecas was far removed from the capital, and the local mining barons sought to preserve their autonomy. During the civil wars between federalists and centralists in the first decade of the republic, Zacatecas and its lucrative mines were Federalist strongholds. In May 1835, the citizens of Zacatecas joined the other northern Mexican states by revolting against Antonio López de Santa Anna, who had suspended the federalist constitution and established a dictatorship the previous year. Except for Texas, Santa Anna crushed most of these rebellions, rewarding his soldiers with two days of pillage in Zacatecas, in which up to 2,000 people died. Santa Anna detached the prosperous city of Aguascalientes from Zacatecas and made it the capital of a separate state (reputedly, as a reward for a kiss from the beautiful wife of a local politician). The state was a battleground in the War of Reform, and Zacatecas, Zacatecas changed hands several times until, finally, in 1859 being captured by Liberal Gen. Jesus Gonzalez Ortega, who expelled most of the cities' clergy. During the War of the French Intervention, French soldiers briefly occupied the city.
In 1884, the Mexico Central Railway linked Zacatecas with Mexico City and Ciudad Juarez. Due to its location between northern and central Mexico, Zacatecas was a major beneficiary of newfound stability and economic modernization that came during the reign of Porfirio Diaz. With Mexico's second largest mint and many of its largest silver mines, Zacatecas played an important role in Mexico's economic growth. Its strategic and economic importance made it an important front in the Mexican Revolution. The Toma de Zacatecas by Pancho Villa's Division del Norte in July 1914 was the decisive battle of the Constitutionalist rebellion against the counter-revolution of Gen. Victoriano Huerta.
The agricultural products are cereals, sugar and maguey, the first being dependent on the rainfall, often failing altogether, the second on irrigation in the lower valleys, and the latter doing best in a dry climate on a calcareous soil with water not far beneath the surface. There is also a considerable production of peaches, apricots and grapes, the last being made into wine. A few cattle are raised, and considerable attention is given to the rearing of sheep, goats and swine. A natural product is guayule, a shrub from which rubber is extracted.
The chief industry of Zacatecas, however, is mining for silver, gold, mercury, copper, iron, zinc, lead, bismuth, antimony and salt. Its mineral wealth was discovered soon after the conquest, and some of its mines are among the most famous of Mexico, dating from 1546. One of the most productive of its silver mines, the Alvarado, has records which show a production of nearly $800,000,000 in silver between 1548 and 1867. Two of the largest silver mines in the world currently are operated in Zacatecas, the Fresnillo-Zacatecas Silver Mine and the Peñasquito Polymetallic Mine.
The state is traversed by the Mexican Central and the Mexican National railways. Its manufactures are limited chiefly to the reduction of mineral ores, the extraction of rubber from guayule, the making of sugar, rum, mezcal, pulque, woollen and cotton fabrics, and some minor industries of the capital.
The state of Zacatecas has a population of 1,490,668 (2010 census) inhabitants. The three largest municipios (a municipio is equivalent to a county in the United States) are Fresnillo at 213,139; Guadalupe at 159,991 and Zacatecas, 138,176. Of the state's total population,18,139 individuals were born in foreign countries. Zacatecas has more than tripled in a century, in 1900 its population was 462,190. In the year 2008, Zacatecas had the smallest indigenous population percentage-wise in Mexico: 0.3%. Only the state of Aguascalientes has a smaller number of indigenous people, numbering 3,472; Zacatecas has 4,039 indigenous people. It is estimated that half of the people from Zacatecas do not reside in the state. Mexico's National Population Council estimates that 600,000 natives of Zacatecas now live in the United States, a figure that is equivalent to 40 percent of the state's resident population of 1.5 million. If the base population is supplemented by the number of children and grandchildren who have been born in the United States, the total number of Mexicans and Mexican Americans of "zacatecano" origin living in the United States exceeds the number of people who reside in the state. 
According to the 2010 census the largest municipio (county) in terms of population in the state of Zacatecas is Fresnillo, with a population of 213,139 (2010). It is followed by the municipio of Guadalupe at 159,991, then the state capital of Zacatecas with a population of 138,176.
Tourist destinations 
The state has touristic cites like:
- Zacatecas: The colonial center of this city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features elaborately decorated buildings, cobblestone streets, and wrought-iron lanterns.
- Sombrerete: Colonial city established in 1555 as a village, actually is a small city, is the fifth most important in the state, and considered the second most beautiful city in the state. The city features old and beautiful churches built in the New Spain Era, with decorated, old buildings. The municipality has touristic forests, and Sierra de Organos, world famous for filming of western movies.
- Jerez de Garcia Salinas: A "Pueblo Mágico" near the capital city of Zacatecas (Zacatecas City), has colonial buildings and the Santuario and Parroquial Churches, made known internationally by Lopez Velarde, a writer born in that city. It also has beautiful colonial buildings some of which are now lighted at night. Jérez was designated as a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2007 because of its customs, traditions, cuisine and its people. More than 20 years in the past (1988) it had already been designated as a National Monument.
- The Rafael Coronel museum is unique in that it holds a collection of over 5,000 masks. It is one of the largest mask collections in Mexico, with pieces from throughout the country.
The current governor of Zacatecas is Miguel Alonso Reyes (PRI). The state is represented by three representatives in the Mexican senate: Mejía Haro Antonio (PRD), Tomás Torres Mercado (PRD) and José Isabel Trejo Reyes (PAN). Zacatecas also has 9 representatives in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies: 9 of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, 3 of the National Action Party and 1 of the Ecologist Green Party.
Zacatecas is subdivided into 58 municipios (equivalent to a county or a parish in the USA). Mazapil by far is the largest municipality in the state, occupying about 16% of the area of the state. The Municipality of Momax is the smallest one in area with only 164.5 square kilometres (63.5 sq mi).
Major communities 
Notable natives and residents 
- Mia St. John, Former World Boxing Champion
- Brandon Rios, Jr Welterweight boxing Champion
- Abner Mares, Boxer, Family hails from Zacatecas
- Romel Beck, Basketball player in NBA's D-League
- Dominick Cruz, UFC Bantamweight champion, fathers side comes from Zacatecas
- Gilbert Melendez, MMA lightweight champion
- Anthony Pettis, MMA fighter, former WEC lightweight champ. Mother's family hails from Zacatecas
- José Huizar, American elected official, Los Angeles city council member
- Mark Sanchez, NFL QB for New York Jets
- Alfonso Márquez, MLB Umpire
- Antonio Aguilar, Singer, Actor
- Pepe Aguilar, Singer
- Rebecca de Alba, Model
- José María Cárdenas, Soccer player for Monarcas Morelia
- Leonor Cortés Moctezuma, Illegitimate daughter of Hernan Cortés, an early resident and grandmother of Juan de Oñate
- Efraín Flores, Former soccer player, & former interim Coach of the Mexico National football team
- Benjamin Galindo, Former soccer player and coach of Chivas de Guadalajara
- Susana González, Actress
- Banda Jerez, Regional band
- Cynthia Klitbo, Actress
- Marcelino Bautista Sifuentes, Master Paper Cutter, Papel Picado
- Mateo Correa Magallanes, 1866–1927, Saint and martyr
- Francisco Javier Gonzalez Medina, Soccer player for football Club Leon
- Florinda Meza, Actress
- Don Juan de Oñate, Mexican-born conquistador of Spanish parents
- Manuel María Ponce, Song composer.
- Sergio Santana, Soccer player for Monarcas Morelia
- Los Temerarios, Music group
- Ramón López Velarde, Mexican poet of the 19th Century.
- José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, Was an organized crime figure.
See also 
- "Las Diputaciones Provinciales" (in Spanish). p. 15.
- "Senadores por Zacatecas LXI Legislatura". Senado de la Republica. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "Listado de Diputados por Grupo Parlamentario del Estado de Zacatecas". Camara de Diputados. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "Resumen". Cuentame INEGI. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- "Relieve". Cuentame INEGI. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- "ENOE". Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- "Mexico en Cifras". INEGI. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "Reporte: Jueves 3 de Junio del 2010. Cierre del peso mexicano.". www.pesomexicano.com.mx. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- "Superficie". Cuentame INEGI. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- C. Michael Hogan (2009) Elephant Tree: Bursera microphylla, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- Obel, Mike (15 December 2011). "10 Biggest Silver Mines in the World". International Business Times.
- "Mexico: extended population list". GeoHive. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
- "México en cifras". INEGI. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- John P. Schmal (2004). "The Hispanic Experience - Indigenous Identity in Mexico". Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Peter Katel (March 6, 2001). "The New Frontier". CNN. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- In the Shadow of the Giant: The Americanization of Modern Mexico, Rutgers University Press, 2009.
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