Neoliberalism, NAFTA, and dehumanization: The case of femicides in Ciudad Juárez

North America
violence against women
intimate partner femicide


The overarching focus of this paper is on the way in which the neoliberalism inherent in the international institutional order produces dehumanisation in the third world and the way in which this dehumanisation manifests itself in direct loss of human life through exploitation and even murder. This paper is split into two main parts, the first of which gives a theoretical and general overview of how neoliberalism has both dominated and dehumanised the international institutional order and the second part of the paper gives a more in-depth case study of this phenomena, focusing on how NAFTA has engendered femicides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

External Authors

Denisa Krásná
Sagar Deva
The Mexican metropolis of Ciudad Juárez is the largest city in the state of Chihuahua, with a population of almost 1.5 million. Juárez is a twin city of El Paso, Texas, with which it is connected by four international bridges that are vigilantly guarded by border patrol. The Río Grande river forms a natural US-Mexican border that splits the two cities. While El Paso belongs to one of the safest places to live in the US, Ciudad Juárez is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the world (Eastaugh 2018). Its high death toll has earned Juárez several unflattering nicknames over the years, from “murder city” or “the world’s murder capital” to “the city where women disappear” and “the capital of murdered women” (COHA 2009). From 2009 to 2011, Ciudad Juárez dominated statistics as the most dangerous city in the world, excluding war zones (Driver 2015: xii). In 2008, the average number of dead bodies found each day was 4.4; in 2009 it was 7.5 and in 2010 disquieting 9.9.




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