Femicide Rates in Mexican Cities along the US-Mexico Border: Do the Maquiladora Industries Play a Role?
Posted: 25 Mar 2008 Last revised: 26 Jan 2017
Date Written: November 9, 2015
Mexican cities along the US-Mexico border, especially Cd. Juarez, became notorious for supposedly presenting abnormally high femicide rates that many believe are associated with the development of maquiladora industries in the region, partially as a result of the NAFTA. Nonetheless, statistical evaluation of data ranging from 1990 to 2012 shows that, after factoring in the effects of maquiladora employment and male homicide rates, femicide rates in the region, including Cd. Juarez, are consistent with rates in non-border Mexican cities where maquiladora industries are less present, and tend to fall with increased employment opportunities in maquiladoras. Femicide rates in Cd. Juarez, although high, are in most years similar to rates in Houston and Nuevo Laredo and, as a share of overall homicide rates, are lower than in most cities considered in the study. These results challenge conventional wisdom and a large share of the existing literature on the US-Mexico border femicide phenomenon.
Keywords: Maquiladoras, Crime, Gender Violence, Violence against Women, Homicide, Femicide, Border, Mexico, Juarez
JEL Classification: K42, J16, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation