Dubbed the “Tower of David”, it was intended to be a commercial centre but was marooned.Squatters seized the huge concrete skeleton in 2007, then-President Hugo Chavez's socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call the tower their home.

Though many residents view it as a den of thieves and a symbol of rampant disrespect for property, residents call the “Tower of David” a safe haven that rescued them from the capital's crime-ridden slums.

Communal corridors are freshly-polished, rules are posted everywhere, and non-compliance is punished with extra “social work” decided by a cooperative and floor delegates who make up a mini-government. “Without ethics or principles, all is irrational,” reads one typically didactic poster in a public area.

Courtesy: Mid-Day

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