A Sense of Community

From crime zone to ‘utopia’: Welcome to Iztapalapa, Mexico City

Mexico City’s Iztapalapa was once the country’s most dangerous municipality. Meet the local heroes trying to turn it into an urban utopia.

Iztapalapa in Mexico City is notorious for soaring crime levels and poverty.

But in 2018, the local government began working to turn the borough’s fortunes around by investing in community initiatives to foster social cohesion.

Iztapalapa’s two million residents now have access to more public arts programmes, government services and sporting facilities.

But challenges remain in a community where there are high rates of violence on the streets and within family homes.

A Sense of Community visits this Mexican community during its busiest week, when residents stage one of the world’s largest festivals to mark Easter and cement cultural traditions.