city and border port of entry, northeastern Coahuila estado (state), northeastern Mexico. It lies at 722 feet (220 m) above sea level on the Rio Grande (Bravo del Norte River), just across from Eagle Pass, Texas, U.S., with which it is connected by two bridges. Founded in 1849, it was renamed Ciudad Porfirio Diaz in 1888; after that dictator's downfall, the original name was restored. Much of the city's prosperity is due to its function as a customs station and an international highway, railroad, and airline hub 840 miles (1,350 km) by road north by west of Mexico City. Piedras Negras is also the commercial and manufacturing centre for the agricultural hinterland, in which cotton and corn (maize) are cultivated and cattle are raised. Coal, silver, gold, and zinc are mined nearby. Industries in the city include zinc smelters, a cement plant, flour and textile mills, a steel mill, and automobile parts plants. Its principal exports are cattle, sheep, hides, wheat, and bran. A superhighway to Mexico City was opened in 1958. Pop. (2005) urban agglom., 169,771.
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