Baroque Soil: Mexico City in the Aftermath

  • Seth Denizen


The September 19, 2017, earthquake caused over 40 buildings to collapse in the center of Mexico City, sparking a massive rescue effort and international attention. The damage to the periphery of Mexico City appeared less dramatic as few large buildings collapsed; however, what was broken as a result of the earthquake is far more difficult to repair. It will cost more and take longer than the reconstruction of the center of the city, and the purpose of this chapter is to explain why. In order to answer this question, it will be necessary to consider the way in which the earthquake interacted with the ongoing crisis of soil subsidence that exists in these peripheral neighborhoods, and look carefully at the politics of soil within which this crisis unfolds. Specifically, the politics of soil in Unidad Habitaciónal Tepozanes will be traced to INFONAVIT’s mortgage insurance scheme, Baroque miracles in the seventeenth century, and the legal metaphysics of subsidence law.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth Denizen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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