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Sinaloa (sēnälōˈä) [key], state (1990 pop. 2,204,054), 22,582 sq mi (58,487 sq km), W Mexico, on the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Culiacán is the capital. A long, narrow territory lying between the ocean and mountain spurs of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Sinaloa has low, hot, humid plains and numerous marshes. The varying elevation, many rivers, and fertile valleys contribute to the variety of crops grown, including grains, tomatoes, cotton, sugarcane, and rice. The state's industry is mostly related to the processing of agricultural products. Fishing and livestock breeding are economically important. Sinaloa lies in a rich mining region where gold, silver, zinc, and copper are mined. Its forest products—fine woods and rubber—are not widely exploited. The state has numerous mineral springs. Sinaloa's coast has many sheltered harbors, but only Mazatlán is a major port. In the early 21st cent. illegal drug trafficking also became a significant component of the state's economy. Sinaloa was joined with Sonora during the Spanish period; it became a separate state in 1830.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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