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Oruro, Bolivia

Oruro is a city in Bolivia with a population of about 200,000, located about equidistant between La Paz[?] and Sucre[?]. It is the capital of the department of Oruro[?].

The city was first founded in 1606 as a silver-mining center in the Urus region. At the time, it was named Real Villa de Don Felipe de Austria after the Spanish monarch Philip III. It was eventually abandoned as the mines became exhausted, but was reestablished in the late nineteenth century, this time as a tin-mining center. For a time, the the La Salvadora tin mine was the most important source of tin in the world. Gradually, this resource was also exhausted, and Oruro again went into a decline. The city does manage, however, to attract tourists to its carnival, considered on of the great folklore events in South America for its "devil dances."

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