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Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilianmarker state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand (eastern) shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentinamarker. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes. North of Uruguaiana lies the Brazilian town of Itaquimarker, connected by a bridge constructed by the English in 1888 over the Ibicuí River.[69924] The city marks the southernmost point reached by the Paraguayansmarker in the War of the Triple Alliance; after being taken without resistance, it was recaptured after a six-week siege that effectively ended the phase of Paraguayan offensive operations.

Communications and distances

The major highways connecting Uruguaiana with other cities in Rio Grande do Sul are BR 472, to Barra do Guaraí in the south and São Borja in the north, BR 290, to Alegrete and Porto Alegre in the east.

The city is served by the airport of Rubem Berta, one of the largest airports in the interior of the state. It had a traffic of over 3,000 passengers in 2008 with 1,409 planes using the facilities.

Some of the distances between Uruguaina and other cities in the state are:
  • Porto Alegre: 649 km.
  • Santa Maria: 365 km.
  • Pelotas: 649 km.
  • Rio Grande: 701 km.
  • Bagé: 454 km.
  • Chuí: 904 km.
  • Passo Fundo: 562 km.


The economy is mainly based on services, followed by industry and agriculture in that order. The sectors employing the most workers were industry, 1,187 workers; commerce, 7,662 workers; public administration, 2,248 workers; transport, communications and storage, 3,303 workers; education, 573 workers; and health, 774 workers.

In 2006 there were 829 agricultural establishments, employing around 3,400 workers. There were 207,000 head of cattle. The main crops were soybeans (633 hectares), wheat (320 hectares), and rice (58,000 hectares).


Health care for the population is mainly provided by public facilities. In 2005 there were 49 health establishments, of which 25 were public facilities. The Municipal Secretariat of Health and the Environment had 16 health centers, including the Health Center of Uruguaina and the Municipal Emergency Care operated by 235 workers.

Uruguaiana had two hospitals, both linked to the national health service. They had 268 beds (2005), with 176 public and 92 private.


The municipal school network was made up of 27 schools, 10 urban and 17 rural, with 567 teachers who administered to 6,222 students in the urban area and 485 in the rural area. In the rural schools there were 30 teachers. The total number of schools both public and private was 110 in 2005. There were 52 primary schools, 4 middle schools, and 44 pre-primary schools in 2007

Uruguaiana had a university campus with schools of Animal Science, Veterinarian Science, Agronomy, Philosophy, Letters, Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science, and Law. Enrollment in 2005 was 1,850 students.

Remarkable construction works

First Oil Refinery in Brazil

The city prides itself on being a pioneer in oil refining in Brazil. In 1932, the Riograndense Oil Refinery was envisioned and built by local traders, which boosted Uruguaiana to international notoriety because of the economic, military and social importance the refinery had at the time.

The refinery became the cradle of present-day Grupo Ipiranga, one of Brazil's largest oil refining and distribution corporations, with business throughout Brazil, especially in the country's South and Southeast regions.

International bridge

Later, on May 21, 1947, the International Getúlio Vargas/Agustín P. Just Road/Railway Bridge on the Uruguay River was inaugurated by presidents Eurico Gaspar Dutra of Brazil and Juan Domingo Perón of Argentina, linking Uruguaiana to the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres. At the time of its construction, the bridge was the greatest work of engineering of Latin America.

Since 1987 there is a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) back-to-back station for power exchange with Uruguaymarker at Uruguaiana. This facility, which was built by Toshiba, can transfer a maximum power of 53.9 megawatts. The applied DC voltage is 17.9 kV.

The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Uruguaiana.


  1. Leuchars, Chris. To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance (2002), chapter ten.
  2. [1]
  3. Aonde Fica
  4. IBGE
  5. IBGE
  6. Prefeitura de Uruguaiana
  7. Ibge
  8. Prefeitura de Uruguaiana
  9. Ibge
  10. Prefeitura de Uruguaiana


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