Campeche, city (1990 pop. 150,518), capital of Campeche state, SE Mexico, on the Yucatán peninsula. It is fortified and surrounded by 18th-century walls. Although it remains an export center for the surrounding region, Campeche's economy is increasingly linked to the offshore oil fields in the Bay of Campeche. The city, once the site of the pre-Columbian town called Kimpech (whose remains are still observable), was founded in 1540 by the son of the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo. It was sacked frequently by English buccaneers. From 1862 to 1864, French forces blockaded the city. The city has a 16th-century cathedral.
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