Guerrero, state (1990 pop. 2,620,637), 24,887 sq mi (64,457 sq km), S Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Chilpancingo. Dominated by the Sierra Madre del Sur, which reaches 12,149 ft (3,703 m) in the Pico de Teotepec, Guerrero is extremely mountainous except for a narrow coastal strip, which has a harbor at Acapulco. The state's major river is the Río de las Balsas. The climate of the coast and the deep valleys is hot and rainy, but the highlands are temperate and drier. Tourism, centered at Acapulco, is an economic mainstay. Agriculture (the growing of coffee, tobacco, cotton, tropical fruits, and cereals), forest products, and mining are the state's other chief economic activities. Mineral resources include gold, silver, lead, zinc, iron, coal, precious stones, and sulfur. The silverwork of Taxco is famous. The Cacahuamilpa caverns, with rock formations that date back 80 million years and some of which rise more than 70 ft (21 m), are in the NE part of the state and belong to the national park system. Little industrialization has occurred in Guerrero, despite its abundant hydroelectric power, and it remains one of Mexico's poorest states. Historically, Guerrero was divided among the states of Michoacán, Mexico, Puebla, and Oaxaca; the state was not established until 1849. Some of the heaviest fighting of the Mexican war for independence (1810–21) from Spain took place in the area, which was later named for Vicente Guerrero, one of the revolutionary leaders. A small antigovernment guerrilla group appeared in Guerrero in the late 1990s but appeared to be contained by the Mexican army.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.