Population and Environment

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 247–270 | Cite as

Exploring patterns of environmental injustice in the Global South: Maquiladoras in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Original Paper


Decades of research in countries of the Global North have revealed distinct environmental injustices whereby industrial hazards tend to be located in poor and minority neighborhoods; few studies have investigated similar relationships between humans and hazards in the Global South. This study uses conventional quantitative environmental justice methodology to investigate spatial relationships between residential socio-demographics and maquiladoras (i.e., final assembly plants) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. When predicting maquiladora density using percent children and social class in a spatial error regression model, we find that percent children was a positive and significant predictor, while social class was not significant. Adding formal residential development to the model, social class becomes a negative and significant predictor. Formal residential development and percent children are also positive and significant. As is the case in the Global North, relationships between neighborhood characteristics and transnationally operated maquiladoras along the northern border of Mexico are linked to urban development.


Environmental justice Mexico Maquiladoras US–Mexico border Spatial regression 



The authors acknowledge the Regional Geo-Spatial Service Center housed at the University of Texas at El Paso for funding this project. We also acknowledge Dr. Diane Sicotte at Drexel University and Dr. Jayajit Chakraborty at University of South Florida for their assistance in dealing with the spatial autocorrelation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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