Punta del Este (pōnˈtä ħĕl āsˈtā) [key], city (1996 pop. 8,252), E Uruguay, on the Atlantic Ocean. Located on a narrow peninsula surrounded by excellent beaches, Punta del Este is one of the largest and most fashionable seaside resorts of South America; fishing is also important to the local economy. In 1939 the German battleship Graf Spee was crippled by a British squadron in waters off Punta del Este. The city was the site of the conference (Aug., 1961) of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council, during which the charter of the Alliance for Progress was drafted, and there also the foreign ministers' conference of the Organization of American States met in Jan., 1962, and voted to impose a censure on Cuba. In 1967 the presidents of republics in the Americas met in Punta del Este to formulate economic assistance programs for Latin America.
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