Buenos Aires is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Latin America. Before Argentina’s reduction of the public sector in the 1990s, and economic crash in 2000, Buenos Aires also had a low inequality index by Latin American standards. But within a period of 15 years it entered the disreputable group of extremely unequal Latin American cities, such as São Paulo, Mexico City and Quito.
Despite Argentina’s rapid economic recovery after the crash, its disparities haven’t improved. This situation is evident in satellite images of Buenos Aires villas — informal settlements where many of the poorest people live. Most of these neighborhoods started as squatter settlements in the 1940s and 1950s. Government restructuring and economic crisis hit these areas hardest.