A massive skyscraper known as the “Tower of David” houses thousands of people in Venezuela who have nowhere else to go.
But unfinished and abandoned by the government, it has become a vast, vertical slum ruled by a brutal ex-convict.
Known as El Nino, or the Boy, an ex-con and born-again Christian slumlord rules over the 3,000 people who live there with an iron fist.
The tyrant is even known to have dismembered his rivals and thrown them from the roof of the tower in the early days of his reign.
The Caracas Tower and its slumlord king became so infamous that they were even featured in the dystopian US thriller series Homeland.
Damian Lewis’ character Brody is shot by Colombian drug smugglers and taken to the Tower, where he is held captive by El Nino and becomes addicted to heroin.
The 45-story apartment block, whose construction began in 1990, was originally intended as a hub for the city’s financial district.
After the death of the tower’s main investor in 1993, the government took control of the building but was unable to complete it.
The six buildings that make up the complex were left without elevators, electricity, running water, balcony railings, windows and even walls.
In 1998, the country’s president, Hugo Chávez, encouraged the poor to take over the vacant building and claim it as their own.
By 2007, a growing community of “invaders” had moved into Venezuela’s third tallest skyscraper and established a city within the city.
They painted Chávez’s picture on the walls, installed electricity for the 50 families on each floor and even took over the rooftop helipad.
The residents also managed to provide running water to the 22nd floor.
The residents of what is probably the highest slum in the world have even built their own infrastructure with shops, guards and electric gates.
El Nino monitored “legislation” in the makeshift city, using henchmen to demand bribes from journalists who wanted to visit and sending a manager to each floor.
Now the thousands who live there are being displaced as the government relocates them to government housing just over 20 miles away.
Soldiers with AK47s and police in riot gear began moving them this week as they began dismantling the slum tower.
It was one of about 150 buildings occupied by homeless people in the capital.
Caracas Minister Ernesto Villegas said the eviction was ordered because the building was unsanitary and unsafe and children were falling to their deaths.
But despite El Niño’s horrific early reign, lack of walls and lack of typical infrastructure, some residents have said they will refuse to leave.
Many have also said they will miss the now well-established community there, whose thousands of residents are large enough to rival the size of a small town.
They also wonder how it will be possible to find work in Cua, a town south of Caracas, where the government plans to relocate them.
The Tower of David isn’t the only giant, abandoned building gracing the sky.
The so-called Hotel of Doom, a £1.6 billion triangular skyscraper in Pyongyang, has been under construction since 1987.
It has never opened its doors or hosted a single guest.
The 105-story building was intended to be the capital’s jewel in terms of tourist accommodation.
But grand plans for the sprawling skyscraper collapsed more than 30 years ago when the country’s economy collapsed.
And nestled in the impressive New York skyline is an abandoned skyscraper called “The Leaning Tower of FiDi.”
Construction was halted in late 2020 after developers discovered the building had a 3-inch slope.
The pristine, 200,000-square-foot structure has been in limbo ever since, amid years of legal disputes.