Back to Top

Squatting in Caracas' Tower of David's broken dreams

In the chaotic Venezuelan capital, even a policeman and his family are obliged to live illegally in the infamous Tower of David
La Torre de David, Caracas, Venezuela

La Torre de David, Caracas, Venezuela

The walls of the Tower of David can talk. Fifty-two stories high and crowned with a heliport, this unfinished high rise, originally conceived as a bank, was meant to stand tall among its neighbors in downtown Caracas as an emblem of Venezuela's booming economy and the city's uber-modernism of the 1990s.

Instead, with the country struggling with one of the world's highest inflation rates, chronic food shortages and a currency black market where the dollar trades at 10 times the official rate, La Torre de David (named after its principal investor David Brillembourg, whose untimely death in 1993 coincided with the collapse of the Venezuelan economy), is a metaphor for the state's failure to provide its citizens with housing, public transport and even safety.

Throughout the tower, paper signs plastered on the pale blue walls of the interior corridors offer anything from homemade ice-cream to English lessons to reduced-priced braces to give you a perfect smile.

Performed from home and outside regular office hours, the proliferation of these services speaks of an informal economy that Venezuelans are increasingly relying on to fight off the growing cost of living.

Read the full article: The Guardian

Focus (Country or Region): 

Latest Articles

Dilma Roussef and Aécio Neves
Brazilian voters electing a new president this weekend are being asked to decide what scar...
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 17:35
Mexico student protest, October 2, 2014. Photo credit: numbdog via Flickr
The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto is hoping that Thursday's removal from offi...
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 17:15
Aécio Neves campaigning in Belo Horizonte, October 3, 2014. Photo credit: Igo Estrela/Coligação Muda Brasil
Not since Brazil returned to democracy in 1985, after over two decades of military rule, h...
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 16:47
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy meets with Lilian Tintori, wife of Venezuelan opposition Leopoldo López, October 22, 2014. Photo credit: Partido Popular PP via Flickr
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro lambasted Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Frid...
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 09:18
Flag of Haiti
The U.S. government urged a federal judge on Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit filed against t...
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 18:19
President Lula da Silva and President-elect Dilma Rousseff attend the inauguration ceremony of ministers, in Brasília, December 8, 2010. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert / PR
Whoever wins Brazil’s presidential runoff election this Sunday won’t have much good news t...
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 16:57