World's tallest high-rise slum to be demolished

This article is more than 12 months old

​It was once supposed to be a bank headquarters making it a symbol of capitalism. But after the banking crisis, the project was left unfinished in 1994.

Then, in 2007, squatters began moving into the 45-storey Tower of David in central Caracas, Venezuela.

With time, the skyscraper became the world's tallest vertical slum as it housed more than 1,150 families.

The thriving but highly regulated community built carefully divided apartments, and established shops and services inside including tattoo parlours, internet cafes and a hair salon.

But all of that is coming to an end.

Soldiers and officials began moving out the first 160 families out of the of the half-built building.

The government will be providing low-income housing for these families outside of the communities.

This move comes after months of negotiations between government officials and representatives from the tower.

One of the residents said: "They didn't force us out, so that's good.

"But they could have also given us houses closer to where we are now and to where our children go to school."

The Tower of David had become a source of fascination for foreigners.

It was prominently featured in the third season of Homeland where Nicholas Brody, played by Damien Lewis, was captured. An exhibition about it won a prize at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.

But not much is known about what will happen to the tower.

President Nicolas Maduro said: "Some are proposing its demolition. Others are proposing turning it into an economic center. Some are proposing building homes there.

"We're going to open a debate... If we demolish it, it's to build something new for the local community."

Source: Reuters, The Guardian