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municipio

in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, a local civil administrative subdivision recognized by the national government. It may comprise one village or community, as is usual in Guatemala, or it may comprise a number of separate communities, as is usual in Mexico. A municipio of several villages always has a head village, or cabecera, in which is centred the national government's local offices and the Roman Catholic local hierarchy. It also commonly serves as a social centre for the province, region, or district

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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