Chiapas is a state in the southeast of Mexico. Chiapas is bordered by the states of Tabasco to the north, Veracruz to the northwest, and Oaxaca to the west. To the east Chiapas borders Guatemala, and to the south the Pacific Ocean.
Chiapas has an area of 73,887 km² (28,528 square miles). The 2003 population estimate was 4,224,800 people.
The state capital city is Tuxtla Gutiérrez; other cities and towns in Chiapas include San Cristóbal de las Casas, Comitán, and Tapachula. Chiapas is also home to the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilan, Bonampak, Chinkultic, and Tonina.
Many of the people in Chiapas are poor, rural small farmers. About one third of the population are of full or predominantly Maya descent, and in rural areas many do not speak Spanish. The state suffers from the highest rate of malnutrition in Mexico, estimated to affect over 40% of the population.
Since 1994, Chiapas has been involved in an ongoing civil war or revolution. The two sides are Mexico and the Mexican Government and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (the EZLN or Zapatistas). Currently, the EZLN claims that Chiapas is a so-called independent indigenous state which they refer to as the Federal Zapatista state of Chiapas.
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