Arica ärē´kä [key], city (1992 pop. 170,064), N Chile, on the Pacific Ocean, just south of the Peruvian border and at the northern limit of the Atacama Desert . Peru ceded Arica to Chile after the War of the Pacific (see Pacific, War of the ). With the settlement of the Tacna-Arica Controversy in 1929, Chile retained sovereignty over the city but was required to furnish complete port facilities to Peru. The district of Arica is now a free zone where both Chile and Peru maintain customshouses. The city is a resort and a port through which the mineral exports (chiefly copper, tin, and sulfur) of both countries are shipped. Like much of Chile, Arica is subject to powerful earthquakes; particularly devastating earthquakes and tsunamis occurred in 1868 and 1877.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography