Matamoros, city (1990 pop. 266,055), Tamaulipas state, NE Mexico, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, opposite Brownsville , Tex. Matamoros, linked by rail and highway with the United States, is an international trading center and a point of entry. The city is the center of an agricultural region that has become increasingly industrialized. Foreign-owned manufacturing plants, known as maquiladoras , proliferated in the area and constitute a dominant part of the economy. Founded in 1700 as San Juan de los Esteros, the city was renamed in 1851 in honor of the leader for Mexican independence Mariano Matamoros . Noted for its heroic defense against numerous U.S. adventurers during the 19th cent., the city fell to the forces of Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War in 1846.
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