Cities / 3 posts found

Downward spiral: how Venezuelas symbol of progress became political prisoners hell

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The dizzying spiral structure in central Caracas was conceived in the 1950s as a monument to a nations confidence but now its crumbling shell houses a notorious political prison. Is El Helicoide a metaphor for modern Venezuela? Spiralling up a hill in the heart of Caracas is a playful, ambitious building that once embodied Venezuelas dreams of modernity, power and influence, and was fted by Salvador Dal and Pablo Neruda. Today, its crumbling concrete shell houses the headquarters of Venezuelas intelligence services and the countrys most notorious political prison. It has become a symbol of national decay, bankrupt dreams and […]

From glamour to gunfire: the tourist city of Acapulco torn apart by violence

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In the 1950s Acapulco was a refuge for A-list celebrities; now the resort known as Mexicos most violent city is struggling to cope under the strain of gang warfare. Is there anything the mayor can do to reverse its fortunes? When mayor Evodio Velzquezs sparkling white Jeep Cherokee SUV pulls up at the side of the road, patrols of soldiers and heavily armed federal police are waiting for him. Velzquezs tourist police, a special unit of young female officers who wear light blue uniforms, stand in a small cluster by the kerb. Nominally law enforcement agents, these young women are […]

Lima’s time bomb: how mudslides threaten the world’s great ‘self-built’ city

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Evangelina Chamorro became a symbol of hope after she survived being swept two miles in a mudslide but her story reveals the citys shaky foundations The extraordinary video of a Peruvian woman coated in mud emerging from a brown sea of pallets and wooden poles was viewed around the world. Evangelina Chamorro, who had been feeding her pigs when she was swept for two miles downhill in a huge mudslide, became the poster girl for resilience during the countrys worst floods in living memory. Remarkably, the 32-year-old was treated for minor injuries and left hospital just a week after the […]
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