The New International Encyclopædia/Tacna (province)

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TACNA, täk′nȧ. The northernmost province of Chile, bounded by Peru on the north, Bolivia on the east, the Chilean Province of Tarapacá on the south, and the Pacific on the west (Map: Bolivia, C 7). Area, 8688 square miles. Its level and arid interior is inclosed by the slopes of the Andes on the east and the coast range on the west. The rainfall is very scanty, and with the exception of the river valleys, the interior is an arid desert. The climate is unhealthful and earthquakes are not infrequent. There are deposits of nitrate, silver, and copper, which are mined to a limited extent. Population, in 1895, 24,160; in 1900 (estimated), 25,031, concentrated chiefly in the capital, Tacna (q.v.), and the port Arica. The province formerly belonged to Peru and was ceded to Chile for a period of ten years in 1884. At the expiration of that period, according to the provisions of the treaty, the ownership of the province was to have been determined by a plebiscite of the inhabitants. The political state of Peru, however, made it impossible to carry out the provisions of the treaty, and Chile still exercises control.