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The Tower of David

Photographer: Paulo Cunha

 

The unfinished skyscraper David Tower in downtown Caracas made famous in the US television series ‘Homeland’, will be fully evacuated by the end of the year 2015 and a few thousand of its inhabitants will be relocated in social housing offered by the Nicolas Maduro government.

 

David Tower was occupied by the poor of Caracas in 2007 hosting over 1,200 families until the end of 2014. The building, a skyscraper of 45 floors without elevators, handrails or windows, but does not match it's reputation of a crime and delinquency environment space that many people described in Caracas. On the contrary the Torre David is now a quiet building inhabited by about a thousand people (300 families) coexisting under an organized regime. The squatters of the building, which currently only occupy makeshift apartments up to the 13th floor, pay 250 bolivars (One euro) per month to a cooperative and thus are entitled to piped water, electricity, cleaning the common spaces and even security.

 

Despite the reputation of the space used for gangs, kidnapping, homicide, prostitution, drug and arms trafficking, none of that seemed to exist in the skyscraper visited by the team of reporters of Portuguese news agency Lusa. However during an interview about the tower myths with Alfredo Zambrano, an audio-visual technician who lives there, admitted that it may have happened a little of everything at the beginning of the occupation of the building as there was a kidnapping, in which the police got more than a thousand agents in the building and some people were killed, it has been a place for prostitution and drug trafficking, and also some people have fallen from upper floors accidentally.