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Definition of CHIAPAS
state SE Mexico bordering on the Pacific ∗ Tuxtla Gutiérrez area 28,528 square miles (73,888 square kilometers), pop 3,210,496
State (pop., 2000: 3,920,892), southeastern Mexico. Covering 28,653 sq mi (74,211 sq km), its capital is Tuxtla Gutiérrez. It is mountainous and forested and is bounded by Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean. Most of its inhabitants are Indian peoples. The extraordinary Maya ruins of Palenque are in the northeastern rainforests. Bonhampak, with its famous Mayan murals, can be reached from the capital. Linked with Guatemala in colonial days, Chiapas became a Mexican state in 1824; its boundaries were fixed in 1882. In 1994 impoverished Indians and middle-class residents, protesting economic and social inequalities, formed the Zapatista National Liberation Army and launched an armed uprising that continued into the 21st century.