Heřmanová Marie


The so-called Zona Norte on the outskirts of San Cristóbal de Las
Casas in the south of México represents a typical “poverty belt” described in
the literature on Latin American favelas and slums. An area densely populated
by Tzotzil- and Tzeltal-speaking people, migrants from the rural communities
from the surrounding highlands, Zona Norte is, in many ways, a typical
example of an informal urban settlement, and it bears the stigma usually
attached to these places – a lawless, dangerous, no-go zone. The aim of this
article is to present three different examples of how this territorial stigmatisation
(Wacquant 2008) is experienced, lived, reconstructed, and deconstructed
by three generations of inhabitants in Zona Norte. Central to all the stories
is the metaphor of “invisibility” or the “invisible city”, which is analysed
using concepts from current anthropological literature on urban informality.
The article is based on an extensive ethnographic fieldwork conducted in San
Cristóbal de Las Casas between the years 2008–2015.


urban informality; urban marginality; rural-urban migration; urban poverty; México; Chiapas; indigenous people

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Vydání: 20, 2018, 2