World

Actions

Squatters Forced To Move From 'World's Tallest Slum'

Venezuela's abandoned high-rise, called the Tower of David, has been home to thousands of squatters. Now they're being forced to leave.
Posted at 10:19 AM, Jul 23, 2014

It's known as the Tower of David in Venezuela and is thought to be the world's tallest slum. Now, thousands of squatters are being forced to leave.  

"The building has stopped, the money has run out and the squatters have moved in. ... This is a symbol, in many ways, of what Venezuela has become. All of those dreams dashed and a country on the edge." (Via BBC)

And if that looks familiar to you, it may be because the Tower of David was featured in the thriller TV series "Homeland."

Which is probably a big reason why the story is making so many Western headlines. (Via Daily Mail, The Washington Post)

There could be as many 3,000 squatters living in the Caracas high-rise. The Washington Post reports the minister for revolutionary transformation told reporters it is not an eviction. 

He instead calls it "peaceful" and labels it a "coordinated operation." 

But just because he's not calling it an eviction doesn't mean others aren't. (Via BBC, Buenos Aires Herald, The Baltimore Sun)

The people living there aren't being led onto the street. NBC reports they're going south of Caracas into new homes as part of a state housing project. 

The program is expected to build 3 million homes by 2019, something The Guardian called "astonishing."

"Although they are state-provided, the new homes become the occupants' property, financed by mortgages. The cost of the house varies according to income: the very poorest get a 100% subsidy."

It's unclear what will happen to the tower, but some reporters are speculating Chinese banks were looking to restore it.