Tampico, Mexico, a city in Tamaulipas state. It lies on a low coastal plain along the Pánuco River near the Gulf of Mexico. Situated in a major oil-producing area, Tampico refines and ships crude petroleum and petroleum products. The city is one of Mexico's busiest ports, and its rail and air facilities are among the best on the country's east coast.
Tampico was the site of both Aztec and early Spanish settlements, the last of which was destroyed in 1683. In 1823 the Mexican military and political leader Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered the town reestablished. It was occupied by United States troops in 1846 during the Mexican War and by the French in 1862. Discovery of petroleum in the area after 1900 and its development by British and American interests brought several decades of booming prosperity. Until 1938, when the Mexican government took over the oil properties, a large foreign population lived in the city.