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Chilecito is the second most important city in the Argentine province of La Rioja, and head of the department of Chilecito.

It's located in the valley formed by the Sierras de Velazco to the east, and the Sierras de Famatina to the west. The city was founded in 1715 by Spanish colonizers. From its mining past that saw its zenith at the end of the 19th century, the city conserves the cable-car of the La Mejicana mine built by Bleichert.

Chilecito is surrounded by an oasis of irrigation, which has expanded by way of supplements from underground waters. The majority of agricultural land is used for the cultivation of vineyards, while the most significant industrial activity is based in wine-cellars. Walnut and fruit trees are also cultivated and their product is locally processed.

At the end of the 1990s, the local faculty dependent of the National University of La Rioja became the National University of Chilecito, a measure harshly criticized by different academic and political sectors, especially considering that the President of Argentina at the time, Carlos Menem, was born in that province.


Chilecito had 29,453 inhabitants ( as of ), representing a 31% population increase in ten years . These numbers include the nearby localities of Anguinan, Los Sarmientos, San Miguel and La Puntilla; without them, the population of Chilecito was 25,423 inhabitants in 2001.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chilecito

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