Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the processes of peri-urbanization to a great extent includes irregular land occupation highly linked to environmental degradation. With this interest the habitat conditions of four irregular settlements in the neighborhood of San Francisco Caltongo are examined; these settlements are located in the Xochimilco municipality to the south of Mexico City. Results from field work and the application of 75 interviews reveal how a zone with high ecological and historical value has not received strong actions to avoid its ecological degradation.

On the contrary, ecological degradation has been aggravated for poverty conditions in informal settlements, and the complicity of the local State that tolerates irregularity and tends to ignore precarious conditions in the settlements. Among the more serious factors of environmental degradation are, the absence of water supply, lack of drainage network, expansion of irregular settlements, and the discharge of grey waters and sewage to the channels.