Piedras Negras, Coahuila

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Piedras Negras
Official seal of Piedras Negras
The Safe Border!
Piedras Negras is located in Mexico
Piedras Negras
Piedras Negras
Coordinates: 28°42′00″N 100°31′23″W / 28.70000°N 100.52306°W / 28.70000; -100.52306Coordinates: 28°42′00″N 100°31′23″W / 28.70000°N 100.52306°W / 28.70000; -100.52306
MunicipalityPiedras Negras
EstablishedJune 15, 1850
 • MayorClaudio Mario Bres (Partido Morena)
 • City914.2 km2 (353.0 sq mi)
223 m (732 ft)
 • City163,595 [1]
 • Metro
245,155 [1]
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (US Central))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (Central)
Postal code
Area code(s)878
AirportPiedras Negras Int. Airport

Piedras Negras (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpjeðɾas neɣɾas]) is a city and seat of the surrounding municipality of the same name in the Mexican state of Coahuila. It stands at the northeastern edge of Coahuila on the U.S.-Mexico border, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass in the U.S. state of Texas. In the 2015 census the city had a population of 163,595 inhabitants,[1] while the metropolitan area had a population of 245,155 inhabitants.[1] The Piedras Negras and the Eagle Pass areas are connected by the Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras International Bridge, Camino Real International Bridge, and the Eagle Pass Union Pacific International Railroad Bridge.

In Spanish Piedras Negras translates to "black stones" – a reference to coal deposits in the area. Across the river, coal was formerly mined on the US side at Dolchburg, near Eagle Pass. This mine closed around 1905, after a fire. Mexico currently operates two large coal-fired power plants named "José López Portillo" and "Carbón 2" located 30 miles (48 km) south of Piedras Negras. This two coal-fired power plants are currently operated by MICARE, which engages with the mining and distribution of coal.


On June 15, 1850, a group of 34 men (commanded by Andrés Zapata, Gaspar Salazar and Antonio Ramírez) met with Colonel Juan Manuel Maldonado to give the news that they had created a pass point at Piedras Negras, to the right of the Rio Grande, south of Fort Duncan. They named it Nueva Villa de Herrera, but it later became Villa de Piedras Negras. In Otto Schober's "Breve historia de Piedras Negras," the local historian points out that the 34 men were repatriates (Mexican Americans) who arrived on June 15, 1850, in what was then called "Colonia Militar de Guerrero en Piedras Negras."[2]

In 1855, the town was looted by a small force of 130 Texans who had been organized by Texas slaveholders for a punitive expedition against a nearby border settlement of fugitive slaves and Indians. The force was led by a captain of the Texas Rangers, and had recently been "repelled by a superior force of Negroes, Indians, and Mexicans who were waiting in ambush" inside Mexico, but they then looted Piedras Negras on the journey back to Texas.[3]

Due to the discovery of huge deposits of coal at the region, in 1881 a railroad track was begun, finishing in 1883. With this construction, the regional economy flourished and on December 1, 1888, it was granted the status of city; this time with the name of Ciudad Porfirio Díaz. After the fall of Diaz in 1911, the city reverted to being Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

On April 26, 2004 floods killed 31 people with up to 60 reported missing.

On April 24, 2007, an F4 tornado struck the city, killing three people there and seven in Eagle Pass, Texas.[4]

On June 14-15, 2013 over 10,000 homes were flooded, but only one death suffered.

On the night of June 8, 2018, former Piedras Negras mayor Fernando Purón was shot behind the head by an unknown man while taking a selfie with another person and died on the spot, becoming the 112th candidate or politician to be killed since Mexico's electoral campaign began in September 2017. Purón was supposed to run in the 2018 Mexican election on July 1 as a congressional candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Sonia Villareal, current mayor of Piedras Negras and fellow member of PRI, suspended her mayoral reelection campaign in response to Purón's murder to concentrate on her current duties, stating that "We don't (want) his name to be just one more added to the list of candidates who have been victims of these deplorable acts."[5]



The Northern Region of Coahuila has approximately 300,000 inhabitants. According to the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Data Processing (INEGI), in 2005 the population of the municipio of Piedras Negras was 143,915 inhabitants, equal to 5.77% of the population of Coahuila. 17% of the population of Piedras Negras came from other states, 3% were foreigners, and the rest were born in Coahuila. Piedras Negras has a high population growth due partly to its status as a border city fueled by U.S.-bound exports from several factories and also by persons who hope to cross the border into the United States. It is estimated that in a couple of years it will become the third most populated city of the state of Coahuila, surpassing Monclova. Nowadays Piedras Negras has more than 200,000 inhabitants.


The climate of the region is semi-arid and hot. During summer the temperatures often surpass 45 °C (113 °F). The hottest months are May through September with a daily average (mean) temperature between 26 °C (79 °F) and 31 °C (88 °F).

The high temperatures recorded in Piedras Negras have earned it recognition as one of the hottest cities in the country.[6]

Highest precipitation months are May, June and September with an average monthly downfall in excess of 80 millimetres (3.1 in) but that is highly sporadic lending to frequent drought conditions. The period of lowest precipitation is between December through March, with a monthly average of 30 millimetres (1.2 in).

Natural resources[edit]

Coal used in the thermoelectric physical

This region generates a large amount of the national production of coal, one of the most economically important non-metallic minerals in the state.

Piedras Negras in music, television, and film[edit]

  • 1992: "Safe Side" (reference to the nickname of Piedras Negras, "The Safe Border") by Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry on album Candyland
  • 1993: Like Water for Chocolate
  • 2004: "Joe Mark Arizmendi "
  • 2007: No Country for Old Men (scene in the town square were filmed in Piedras Negras)
  • 2016: From Dusk Till Dawn season 3


Church Our Lady of Guadalupe

Piedras Negras' main tourist attractions are:[citation needed]

  • The Macro Plaza (Designed and Built by Cesar Dominguez, AIA, LEED AP) a large square surrounded by restaurants, shops and other businesses
  • The ruins of San Bernardo Mission (18th century)
  • The Handicrafts Museum
  • The Culture House
  • The Hunting and Fishing Club
  • De La Ventana Caverns
  • Mercado Zaragoza, known simply as El Mercado ("the Market"), a traditional Mexican market where one is able to buy a variety of hand-made arts and crafts from the state: vases, leatherworked items, clay and ceramic wares, as well as traditional Mexican candy from the region.
  • El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Built in 1859 of ashlar, cement and wood, this church has survived the battles of the Cristero movement in 1927 and an explosion in 1934, leading to its renovation in 1935. The construction of its current towers began in 1950.
  • Plaza de las Culturas (Cultures' Plaza), a new park completed in 2005. The Plaza is a homage to Mexico's three main indigenous cultures: Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec. It features a replica of a pyramid representative of the style of each of the cultures, the biggest one being a replica of the Pyramid of the Sun, located in Teotihuacan, near Mexico City.
  • Estadio Piedras Negras
  • Estadio Sección 123
  • Catedral de Piedras Negras (Diócesis de Piedras Negras)[10]
  • Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Built in 1859 of cement and wood, this sanctuary survived the Cristeros movements in 1927 and an explosion in 1934, it was remodeled in 1935. The construction of its towers began in 1950).
  • Presidio militar de Monclova Viejo (1773 ruins)
  • Casa Redonda o Maestranza (Where constitutionalist cannons were built)
  • Antiguo Hotel del Ferrocarril (Ruinas)
  • Antigua Presidencia Municipal (Soon to be Museo de la Frontera Norte)
  • Plaza de las Culturas
  • Plaza de Toros Monumental "Arizpe"
  • Monumento a Venustiano Carranza (Blvd. Carranza)
  • Monumento al Centenario de la Independencia (Inaugurated on September 16, 1910 by President Porfirio Díaz, located between the streets of Zaragoza and Fuentes, to be later transferred to the Central Square of Colonia Roma on July 15, 1963)
  • Monumento a los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec (Macroplaza I)
  • Monumento a las víctimas de la inundación del 04/04/04 y el tornado del 24/04/07 en Villa de Fuente
  • Monumento al Venado Cola Blanca
  • Monumento '"Héroes de Coahuila"
  • Misión de San Bernardo (Guerrero, Coah. / 40 km de Piedras Negras)
  • Casa de la Cultura
  • Edificios de Telégrafos y Correos
  • Edificio de la Universidad Autónoma de Piedras Negras
  • Antigua Hacienda de San Isidro
  • Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Ejido Piedras Negras
  • Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Col. Presidentes
  • Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Col. Doctores
  • Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Col. Lazaro Cárdenas
  • Centro Cultural Multimedia 2000
  • Macroplaza I
  • Macroplaza II
  • Gran Bosque Urbano – El Vergel[11]
  • Teatro del IMSS (Hospital General de Zona #11)
  • Teatro de la Ciudad "José Manuel Maldonado Maldonado"[12][13]
  • Auditorio de Piedras Negras[14][15]
  • La Gran Plaza[16][17]
  • Asta Bandera Monumental "Puente Internacional II" (50 m)
  • Asta Bandera Monumental " La Gran Plaza"[18] (120 m)[19]
  • Infoteca[20][21]
  • Museo del Niño "Chapulín" (En Construcción)[22]
  • Casa de las Artes[15][23]
  • Paseo del Río[24][25]


Commercial air service is available via Aeropuerto Internacional de Piedras Negras.

International Day of the Nacho[edit]

The International Day of the Nacho takes place every October 21. It was initiated in the 1990s in the United States and Mexico to commemorate the invention of nachos by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya in 1943 at El Moderno restaurant in the border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila.[26]

Bike Fest[edit]

For 12 years in a row, the Annual Bike Fest has attracted visitors from 41 different cities in Mexico and the United States. Activities last for 2-3 days and include concerts, food sales, acrobatic shows, a drive through town and a drawing with a brand new bike as the grand prize. The 2016 prize was a Harley Davidson Sportster. The 2016 Bike Fest brought a revenue of MX$1.5 million, roughly US$37,875. [27]

Local media[edit]


  • Zócalo News[28]
  • Periódico La Voz (La Voz News)
  • El Día News[29]
  • Revista Bravo!
  • El Tranchete (tabloid)


  • EXA FM 105.5[30]
  • Di-94.5 FM Dinámica Auditiva
  • K93 FM (Eagle Pass, Texas)
  • Súper Estelar 107.9 FM[31]
  • Recuerdo 96.7 [32]
  • Amor 107 FM
  • Romántica 99.9
  • BACK FM 100.9 FM XHBM
  • Radio Gente FM 102.5 XHPNC
  • La Consentida 104.4 FM
  • Fiesta Mexicana 106.3 FM XHPSP
  • La Mexicana 1320 AM
  • La Norteñita 830 AM XEIK
  • Radio Popular Fronteriza S.A. 920 AM XEMJ[33]
  • La Rancherita del Aire 580 AM XEMU[34]

Local television[edit]

  • Televisa Piedras Negras (XHPN)
  • TV Azteca Piedras Negras
  • Super Channel 12.1/12.2
  • Gala Tv Piedras Negras
  • Visión 10 (XHPNW)
  • RCG Piedras Negras
  • Multimedios TV Piedras Negras / Eagle Pass (XHAW)
  • International Bridges Channel


  • Internet Cablecom – Internet / Cable
  • Infinitum by Telmex – Internet / Telephone

Internet local news[edit]

  • Periódico Zócalo Sitio Web[28]
  • Agencia de Noticias INFONOR[35]
  • Agencia de Noticias SIP
  • Coahuila en Línea[36]
  • Territorio de Coahuila y Texas[37]
  • ContraPunto Noticias[38]

Recent events[edit]

  • On April 4, 2004, the Río Escondido (a tributary of the Río Bravo) broke its banks and some 36 residents of the Piedras Negras area were killed or vanished after the resulting flash floods.[39]
  • In 2007, a tornado hit both Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass on April 24, killing three people in Piedras Negras and seven people in Eagle Pass. Several others were injured and homeless in both communities. See also Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass Tornadoes
  • On Monday, September 17, 2012, at least 30, and possibly more than 100, inmates broke out of a prison here, near the U.S.-Mexico border, by digging a tunnel from the prison's carpentry section.[40]

Sister cities[edit]

Piedras Negras has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:


  1. ^ Station ID for Piedras Negras is 76220 Use this station ID to locate the sunshine duration


  1. ^ a b c d "Número de habitantes. Coahuila de Zaragoza". www.cuentame.inegi.org.mx.
  2. ^ "Historia". Piedras Negras. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  3. ^ Johnson, Nicholas (2014). Negroes and The Gun: the black tradition of arms. Amherst, New York: Prometheus. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-61614-839-3.
  4. ^ Welch, William M. (26 April 2007). "Border storms' death toll rises to 10 - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  5. ^ Charner, Flora (9 June 2018). "This Mexican candidate had just vowed to tackle crime. Then a gunman shot him dead". CNN. Cable News Network. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Piedras Negras, una de las ciudades más calientes del país". ZÓCALO SALTILLO. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Estado de Coahulia-Estacion: Piedras Negras (Obs)". Normales Climatologicas 1951–2010 (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorologico Nacional. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ "NORMALES CLIMATOLÓGICAS 1981–2000" (PDF) (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Station 76243: Piedras Negras". Global station data 1961–1990—Sunshine Duration. Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Diócesis de Piedras Negras". Diocesispn.org. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Verbena popular por inauguración del Bosque Urbano "El Vergel"". Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  12. ^ "Teatro Piedras Negras!!!". YouTube. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Entrega el Gobernador Humberto Moreira el Teatro de la Ciudad de Piedras Negras "Pepe Maldonado"". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  14. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Inauguran Auditorio y Casa de las Artes de Piedras Negras". Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  16. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  17. ^ "Entrega Humberto Moreira "Gran Plaza" a Piedras Negras". Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  18. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Asta Bandera Monumental de Piedras Negras es un símbolo de identidad nacional". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  20. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  21. ^ "El Gobernador Humberto Moreira Valdés entregó la moderna Infoteca de Piedras Negras". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  22. ^ "Museo del Niño "El Chapulín" se construirá en Piedras Negras". Retrieved 21 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  24. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Inauguran Paseo del Río de Piedras Negras". Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  26. ^ "NationalNachosDay.com". NationalNachosDay.com.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-05. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  28. ^ a b "PeriĂłdico ZĂłcalo – Noticias de Saltillo, Coahuila, MĂŠxico, Piedras Negras, Monclova, AcuĂąa, Videos, ZĂłcalo". Zocalo.com.mx. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  29. ^ "eldiapn.com". eldiapn.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  30. ^ "EXA". Exafm.com.mx. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  31. ^ "superestelar1079.com". superestelar1079.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  32. ^ "Recuerdo 96.7". recuerdo967.com. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Coahuiltecamedios.com". Coahuiltecamedios.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011.
  34. ^ "La Rancherita del Aire, desde Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México". La-rancherita.com.mx. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  35. ^ "Infonor – Diario Digital". Agencia.infonor.com.mx. Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  36. ^ ":: Coahuila en Línea ::". Coahuilaenlinea.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  37. ^ "Portada". Territorio de Coahuila y Texas. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Portada". ContraPunto Noticias.
  39. ^ "Global Hazards – 2004 | State of the Climate | National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)". Ncdc.noaa.gov. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  40. ^ "More than 30 escape from Mexican prison on US border – World news – Americas | NBC News". MSNBC. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2014.

External links[edit]