Annales de géographie
2009/1-2 (n° 665-666)
The duo formed by the Spanish city of León and the Indian community of Sutiaba was created as a result of the relocation of the provincial capital that occurred after the earthquake of 1610. Interethnic relations have been difficult ever since. The annexation of the lands of San Juan Bautista Subtiava by the “Spanish” municipe in 1902 did not help to reduce tensions, on the contrary. The social and ethnic cleaving contrasting the old colonial city (the eastern part) and the Indian quarter (the western) remains very strong. This has an impact on the urban landscapes and on the social practices of the inhabitants. Our objective here is to analyse the mechanisms of sociospatial differentiation at work on each side of the city contributing to the identity claims of the local populations. We also critically discuss two key notions in contemporary social science : spatial justice and urban governance.