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Heroica Ciudad de Cananea
Coat of arms of Cananea
Coat of arms
Ciudad del Cobre (Copper City)
Municipality of Cananea in Sonora
Municipality of Cananea in Sonora
Cananea is located in Mexico
City of Cananea
Coordinates: 30°58′55″N 110°18′02″W / 30.98194°N 110.30056°W / 30.98194; -110.30056Coordinates: 30°58′55″N 110°18′02″W / 30.98194°N 110.30056°W / 30.98194; -110.30056
 • TypeCouncil-Manager Government
 • Mayor of CananeaEduardo Quiroga Jiménez Independent-Nonpartisan Canenea Independiente Eduardo Quiroga.png
1,620 m (5,310 ft)
 • Total31,560
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (No DST observed)
Postal code
84620 - 84635
Area code(s)645

Cananea is a city in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, Northwestern Mexico. It is the seat of the Municipality of Cananea, near the U.S−Mexico border.

The population of the city was 31,560 as recorded by the 2010 census. The population of the municipality, which includes rural areas, was 32,936. The total area of the municipality is approximately 4,100 square kilometres (1,600 sq mi).


The first non-indigenous inhabitants of the present day Cananea, arrived in 1760 from other parts of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain (colonial México).

In the 19th century General Ignacio Pesqueira, from nearby Arizpe, retired to Cananea. He fought against the Apache who raided the area. One time, while following them into the mountains, he discovered the abandoned Spanish mines and by 1868 he had renewed the extraction of minerals in the Cananea mines. General Pesqueira's wife, Elena Pesqueira Pesqueira, "discovered" a nearby mountain range (sierra) and the General named the highest peak La Elenita ("The Little Helen", 9,327 feet or 2,843 meters above sea level) in her honor. The other peak is named La Mariquita ("The Little Mary", 8,123 feet or 2,476 meters above sea level).

William C. Greene addresses striking miners in Cananea in 1906.

In 1889 William Cornell Greene purchased the mine from General Pesqueira and founded the Nogales, Sonora-based company, The Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, S. A. (CCCC or 4C). In June 1906, a labor dispute erupted into the violent cross-border Cananea strike, that resulted in the death of 23 people and dozens injured, in a fight between the strikers and a posse led by Arizona Rangers from the United States. A corrido titled La cárcel de Cananea ("Cananea jail") written in 1917 and commemorating the incident has since become famous. At the time of the strike the population of 23,000 included 7,000 Americans and 5,000 Chinese.[1]

On October 31, 1901, the area became a municipality with Cananea town as its seat. On July 11, 1957, Cananea town became a city.

Cananea Jail[edit]

The Cananea jail was built in 1903 and is located in downtown Cananea. It was the first public jail of the city and is currently a museum "Museo de la Lucha Obrera" with exhibitions of photographs and instruments used in mining.

La carcel de Cananea or The Cananea Jail song is a corrido that has become part of the culture of Cananea and the state of Sonora. It describes the experiences of a man accused of murdering Chinese immigrants while at this jail. According to historian Rodolfo Rascón, a man called Francisco, nicknamed El Cucharón de Batuc ("The Big Spoon of Batuc"), wrote the song in 1917.


The municipality of Cananea has a sub-humid Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), with an average monthly maximum temperature of 74.3 °F (23.5 °C) in the months of June to September and an average monthly minimum of 45.3 °F (7.4 °C) in December and January; the average annual temperature is 59.5 °F (15.3 °C).

Atypically for the Mediterranean climate type, the dry season occurs in spring and early summer, whereas the rainy season is in mid/late summer and autumn. Through winter the rains are less intense, but of longer duration. Called “equipatas”, they can fall in the form of snow. In the months of February, March, and April there are frequent frosts, hailstorms, and occasional snowstorms. Precipitation averages at 511 millimetres (20 in) annually.

Climate data for Cananea, Sonora (1971-2000, extremes (1951-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.0
Average high °C (°F) 14.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.5
Average low °C (°F) 2.5
Record low °C (°F) −14.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45.5
Average precipitation days 3.3 2.4 2.1 0.8 0.8 2.3 12.5 8.7 4.9 3.6 1.8 3.1 46.3
Source: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[2][3]

City Government[edit]


Cananea in 1908
1901-1903 Manuel Larrañaga -
1903-1905 Ignacio Macmanus -
1905-1907 Filiberto Barroso -
1907-1910 Eduardo R. Arnold -
1910-1911 José Clemente Arnold -
1911-1912 Ignacio L. Pesqueira -
1912-1918 Manuel M. Diéguez -
1918-1920 Florentino Rocha -
1920-1921 Julian S. González -
1922-1923 Salvador Taylor -
1923-1924 José Figueroa -
1923-1924 José Figueroa -
1924-1925 Ramón R. González -
1925-1927 Dolores Romero -
1927-1928 Ramón R. González -
1928-1929 Maximiliano Zuñiga -
1929-1931 Dolores Romero Logo Partido Nacional Revolucionario.svg
1931-1933 Juan Caro Logo Partido Nacional Revolucionario.svg
1933-1935 Ignacio F. Loaiza Logo Partido Nacional Revolucionario.svg
1935-1937 Ramón C. Meneses Logo Partido Nacional Revolucionario.svg
1937-1939 Jesús M. Molinares Logo Partido Nacional Revolucionario.svg
1939-1941 Alberto Matti Logo Partido de la Revolucion Mexicana.svg
1941-1943 José F. Payán Logo Partido de la Revolucion Mexicana.svg
1943-1946 Jesús González y González Logo Partido de la Revolucion Mexicana.svg
1946-1949 Jesús R. Juvera PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1949-1952 Ramón Guerrero PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1952-1954 Antonio Fernando Ruíz PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1954-1955 Rogelio Castro Cuen PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1955-1958 Fidel Sánchez Márquez PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1958-1961 Ramón Millanez PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1961-1964 Jesús Burrola Tolano PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1964-1967 Victor Manuel Tapia Berkowitz PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1967-1970 Edmundo Navarro Parra PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1970-1973 Roberto Elzy Torres PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1973-1976 Jesús Ahumada Barreda PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1976-1979 Héctor Lavander León PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1979-1982 Roberto Torres Carbajal PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1982-1985 Gildardo Monge Reyes PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1985-1988 Rafael Carrillo Monzón PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1988-1991 Francisco Javier Taddei Taddei PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1991-1994 Gildardo Monge Escárcega PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1994-1997 Héctor René Tagles Zavala PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1997-2000 Francisco García Gamez PAN (Mexico).svg
2000-2003 Mario César Cuen Aranda PAN (Mexico).svg
2003-2006 Francisco García Gamez PAN (Mexico).svg
2006-2009 Luis Carlos Cha Flores PAN (Mexico).svg
2009-2012 Jesús Reginaldo Moreno García PRI logo (Mexico).svg
2012-2015 Francisco Javier Tarazón Curlango PAN (Mexico).svg
2015-2018 Fernando Herrera Moreno PRI logo (Mexico).svg
2018-2021 Eduardo Quiroga Jiménez Canenea Independiente Eduardo Quiroga.png


The large Cananea copper mine produced almost 164,000 tonnes of copper in 2006.


Mining is the main source of revenue for Cananea and will be for the foreseeable future. Eighty percent of the population is directly or indirectly supported by mining companies in Cananea. The first and most important mining company is Buenavista del Cobre, S.A. de C.V. (formerly Mexicana de Cananea, S.A. de C.V.) owned by the Southern Copper Corporation,[4] and still shares ownership with Grupo Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V.[5] Grupo Mexico plans to invest $3.7 Billion US Dollars at the Cananea Mine. This program is expected to increase Buenavista's production capacity from 180,000 tons of copper per year to over 450,000 tons. During 2Q11, Buenavista reached its full capacity and produced 45,588 tons of copper: 15,170 tons of copper cathode at its SX/EW Plant and 30,417 tons of copper concentrate at the Concentrator Plant. Cananea is among the world's largest copper mines in terms of reserves.

A miners strike at the Buenavista del Cobre mine lasted almost three years, until broken on the night of June 6, 2010, when Mexican police dispersed striking workers.[6] On June 6, 2011, the Confederation of Mexican Workers (“CTM”) was granted the collective bargaining agreement for the Buenavista union, replacing the miner's National Union of Mining and Metallurgical Workers Sindicate, Section No.65 (Labor Union), headed by Napoleón Gómez Urrutia.

The second and smaller active copper mine is "Minera Maria", owned by Minera Frisco, S.A.B. de C.V. a Mexican company controlled by Carlos Slim Helú and family, including Inmobiliaria Carso, S.A. de C.V. and located west of Cananea. The plant has an installed monthly production capacity of 2,500 tons of copper cathode.


Light industry is the second most important activity in the local economy, generating approximately 3,100 jobs. A modest industrial park north of the town comprises an area of 53 acres (210,000 m2). There are several companies operating as maquiladoras.The most important were co-founded by Mr. Benjamin Schirrmeister which they are "Fullfillmen Systems de México", "Stewart Connectors Systems de Mexico" , "Datacenter del Norte", "Customer Specific Cables". In other section they have "Fundidora de Cananea, S.A.", a manufacturer of ball mill liners, and "Road Machinery Company de México, S.A." -- which all aforementioned companies together provide approximately 600 jobs and are involved in diverse activities, from cable assembly to steel fabrication.

The intent to open a concrete products industrial park north of Cananea was announced in January 2018 by Ing. Glenn Edward Roy E. of "Ferrocret", a conglomerate that shall produce all manner of precast concrete products such as: hydro conduit; walls, floors, and ceilings of affordable housing; drycast concrete pavers; cinder block; concrete railway sleepers. The factories will utilise proprietary fast-cure concrete formulations in combination with the abundant nearly free-of-cost copper slag "escoria" -- an aggregate alternative to expensive riverbed-mined gravel. Over one hundred years of mining activities at Cananea have generated huge manmade mountains of copper slag... thereby providing an ideal, low-cost alternative for supplying graded aggregates for in inclusion within those various precast concrete products. Precast concrete products manufacturing promises to become a major industry in the region, and one which shall lessen the dependence of the Cananea job force on a local economy that historically solely has been dependent upon the mines remaining open.


Cattle raising is important and there were approximately 16,000 head in the last census.

Farming consists mainly of corn, potatoes, beans, sorghum, alfalfa, barley, and apples. Most of these crops are used for local consumption and cattle fodder. The infrastructure consists of 30 wells, equipped with a system of electrical motors, and 10 kilometers (6 mi) of reinforced canals used for irrigation.

Twin towns[edit]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ "WENT AGAINST ORDERS; Governor of Arizona Warned Capt. Rynning and Other Americans", New York Times, June 3, 1906.
  2. ^ "NORMALES CLIMATOLÓGICAS 1971-2000" (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Extreme Temperatures and Precipitation for Cananea 1951-2010" (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Southern Copper Corporation. (NYSE:SCCO Archived October 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Grupo Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV:GMEXICO Archived March 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Elisabeth Malkin (June 7, 2010). "Police Officers End a Mine Strike in Mexico". New York Times.

External links[edit]