Venezuelan Government Evicts Residents From World's Tallest Slum

CARACAS — Venezuelan soldiers and officials began moving hundreds of families on Tuesday out of a half-built 45-story skyscraper that dominates the Caracas skyline and is thought to be the world's tallest slum. Residents from the "Tower of David” were going to new homes in the town of Cua, south of Caracas, under the state's Great Housing Mission project — a flagship policy of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez. President Nicolas Maduro's government has not yet said what it will do with the tower, but one local newspaper reported Chinese banks were buying it to restore to its original purpose. Nicknamed after its developer, financier and horse-breeder David Brillembourg, the Tower of David was originally intended to be a bank center but abandoned since 1994, later becoming a home to some 3,000 needy Venezuelans. Residents said the building became a refuge from the city's crime-ridden 'barrios' and had turned into something of a model commune. Life was far from easy, though. People fell off dangerous ledges, and makeshift power and water services were a headache.

Image: People wait inside the Tower of David
People wait inside the Tower of David, an abandoned skyscraper in Caracas originally intended to be an office building that became a 'vertical slum', before being evicted on July 22, 2014. The government began the eviction and relocation of hundreds of families that were illegally occupying the building. Federico Parra / AFP - Getty Images


— Reuters