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Squatters in Venezuela's 45-Story 'Tower of David'

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In 1990, construction began on the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, a huge high-rise office complex in Caracas, Venezuela. Construction halted in 1994, after a banking crisis and the death of the building's main investor, David Brillembourg. The 45-story tower stood vacant until 2007, when squatters began moving in, displaced by a massive housing shortage in Caracas. Authorities turned a blind eye, and the skyscraper, nicknamed the "Tower of David" (after David Brillembourg), is now home to more than 3,000 residents. The third-highest skyscraper in the country has been jury-rigged with electricity and water up to the 22nd floor. Reuters photographer Jorge Silva spent some time with tower residents earlier this year, returning with these photographs of the world's tallest slum. [26 photos]

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Gabriel Rivas, 30, lifts weights on a balcony on the 28th floor of the 45-story "Tower of David" skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 9, 2014. The half-completed building, abandoned in 1994, started attracting squatters in 2007, and is now home to more than 3,000. (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
Gabriel Rivas, 30, lifts weights on a balcony on the 28th floor of the 45-story "Tower of David" skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 9, 2014. The half-completed building, abandoned in 1994, started attracting squatters in 2007, and is now home to more than 3,000. (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
The unfinished Tower of David stands above Caracas on January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Clothes hang to dry atop the Tower of David on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Children play in the lobby of the Tower of David skyscraper on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Men sit and look down at a basketball court inside the Tower of David complex on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Adriana Gutierrez and her son Carlos Adrian watch TV in their 24th floor apartment inside the Tower of David on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Children roam the corridors of the unfinished Tower of David, on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Children ride bicycles on one of the top inhabited floors of the Tower of David on February 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A woman walks on a roof of the Tower of David on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Men salvage metal on the 30th floor on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Weathered, broken windows in the Tower of David, photographed on February 5, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
People walk along a corridor on the 10th floor of the Tower of David on February 6, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Francisco, 18, cooks in his apartment inside the Tower of David on February 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Teenagers chat in a window opening on the 10th floor on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A view of the lobby from the top of the Tower of David, photographed on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Boys play basketball in a garage in the Tower of David on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A man sits with his family in his apartment inside the Tower of David on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A girl rides a bicycle on a high balcony above Caracas on February 5, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Paola Medina, 29, packs as she prepare to leave her apartment after living in the Tower of David skyscraper for almost a year, on March 25, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Men rest after salvaging metal on the 30th floor on February 3, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A woman looks out of a window at her shop in a corridor inside the Tower of David on February 6, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Nicolas Alvarez speaks on a telephone in his apartment on the 27th floor of the Tower of David on February 5, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Genesis opens a balcony door in an apartment inside the Tower of David on February 6, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
A man, who is on his way to work, walks through the lobby of the Tower of David on February 5, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Caracas, seen from the 44th floor on February 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
The unfinished Tower of David stands above Caracas on January 22, 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #

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