Disparate Development, Gendered Geographies: Ejidos, Urbanization, and the Maquila Industry in Ciudad Juárez

Event Sponsor
Center for Latin American Studies


The urbanization of communal lands (ejidos) in Ciudad Juárez shaped the rise and localization of multinational factories (maquiladoras), inequality, and gendered violence in Mexico’s northern borderlands. In the Mexican interior, ejidal lands situated on urban peripheries were often sites of impoverishment, informal settlement, rapid/chaotic urbanization, and a lack of investment after 1960. Ejidal urbanization in Juárez, however, diverged from this model in key ways. In fact, Juárez’s peri-urban ejidal landscapes reveal high levels of investment, formal planning, and infrastructure. Using Google Street View and GIS imagery, this lecture explores how Juárez’s modernization regime—embodied by Mexico’s first private maquila industrial park which occupies former ejidal lands—forged disparate landscapes of investment and infrastructure, processes that informed not only femicide patterns in Juárez but neoliberal reform in Mexico.


Mateo J. Carrillo is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Santa Clara University (SCU). His book project, “Mexico’s Other Revolution: Rural Technology, Environmental Change, and Transnational Migration,” examines the rapid transformation of Mexico’s built and natural environments during the mid-twentieth century and how these processes reshaped rural mobility and citizenship in Mexico and the US. Dr. Carrillo’s work has appeared in the journals Environmental History and Land. He received his PhD from Stanford University, where, as a graduate student, he was awarded a Fulbright research grant for Mexico. Before arriving at SCU, Dr. Carrillo was a School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Fellow and lecturer at Stanford.