Catamarca Province

( Details)

( Details)

- Total - Percentage of Argentina

102,602 km ² 3.7

- Total 2001 - Density

334 568 inhabitants 3.3 inhabitants / km ²

Catamarca is a province in northwestern Argentina. It is bordered on the north by the province of Salta, on the east by the provinces of Tucumán, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba, to the south by the province of La Rioja and on the west by Chile. Capital is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, which is also often referred to briefly as Catamarca.


The province is located mostly in mountainous terrain, with the exception of the southeast, which still belongs to the pampas, and the arid plateau of Campo de Belén in the center of the province. The east of this plane extending mountain ranges belong to the Sierras Pampeanas, west of it lie the higher mountain ranges of the Andes. Since all ranges, running in a north-south direction, the province area is divided into three separate parts, between which, although today there are two roads, but otherwise the communication was relatively difficult, the economic development of the province inhibited long time. The northwestern part of the province is part of the plateau of the Puna, he is very sparsely.


The climate in the province terrain with the exception of the extreme north-east dry and subtropical. The vegetation is steppe way, only in the northeast you will find subtropical jungle areas.


The province is very sparsely populated. Main cities are the provincial capital San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca (about 140,000 inhabitants ), Santa María del Yocavil (20,000 inhabitants) in the Northeast, as well as Andalgalá, Belén and Tinogasta in the West.


The settlement of the region dates back to at least the era around the time of Christ, which finds at Palo Blanco testify. One suspects the state - hierarchical social systems in the region emerged around this time, when the population coped with the step of the hunter-gatherers to a sedentary, dependent on agriculture culture. Since the 11th century the area was inhabited by Diaguita.

1480 conquered the Inca the west of the territory and annexed it into their empire. The current provincial territory was ( was derived from the name probably Tucumán ) then in the provinces Tukma, Chicoana ( the north) and Kire Kire -. 1535 the Spaniards arrived in the region and founded in 1554 the first settlement of San Pedro Mártir, which could not, however, permanently. Fared better, which was founded four years later Londres, which is the second oldest city in Argentina to Santiago del Estero is today. After there had been numerous conflicts with the indigenous people, including the Gran Alzamiento Calchaquí ( large Calchauquí uprising ) in 1630, the Spanish mid-17th century, gained the upper hand. 1683 the provincial capital San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca was founded.

In 1782, the province was incorporated into the newly established Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in the territory of San Miguel de Tucumán. Already in 1783 it was again separated and the more northern Salta del Tucumán slammed. The dependence of Tucumán remained until after independence in 1816 exist.

1821 the area of Tucumán was cleaved and thus received the status of a province. It was not until 1853 that modern province area was largely united, with the exception of the Northwest, the first to Chile, from 1899 to the then Territorio Nacional de los Andes belonged. This area was first dissolved in 1943 and today's Department of Antofagasta de la Sierra Catamarca slammed.

In 1882, Catamarca had 102,000 inhabitants, especially their living from farming, irrigation requires, and of livestock. The industry at that time was insignificant.

In the 20th century the development of the province stagnated for a long time. Even today it is one of the poorest in the country, despite a development thrust from about 1980. In 1990, the murder of a student, María Soledad Morales, the way for the intervention of the province free, which was ruled by then in a quasi- feudal manner by the family Saadi, who controlled the Peronist party in the province and was involved in this scandal free. Since then, the policy of the Province of the Unión Cívica Radical dominated.

Administrative divisions

The Catamarca province is divided into 16 departments, where 36 municipalities ( municipios ) are assigned. Be recognized as the municipality of places with more than 500 inhabitants. The communities cover the whole territory of the province, as they are directly adjacent to each other.

The province Constitution recognizes the autonomy of the municipalities. Entitled to self-government by its own municipal constitution ( Carta orgánica ), all municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. By November 2006, the following communities Catamarcas have given a separate municipality Constitution: San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Valle Viejo, Santa María del Yokavil, Recreo, Tinogasta, Belén, Andalgalá y Fray Mamerto Esquiú.

Below is a list of departments with their respective capitals:


In the north of the province of Catamarca is the most important mine in Argentina, Bajo de la Alumbrera, are extracted in the copper and gold. The mine is due to various environmental pollution allegations, however, in the Argentine public highly controversial.

In the valleys, agriculture plays a role in industry, there are almost only in the agglomeration of Catamarca. Tourism is of little importance and largely focuses on the El Rodeo, which is about 30 km from the state capital, as well as the lying in the Valle Calchaquí city Santa María del Yocavil.