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A Giant Septic Tank is Swallowing Maracay and Valencia

The amount invested over 13 years in Lake Valencia in north central Venezuela, could have been used by the Chavista regime to build 18 new hospitals like the Cardiológico Infantil Latinoamericano de Caracas, (Latin American Children’s Cardiology Hospital) or a fairway like the Panama Canal. But against the flow of the 385 million US dollars dumped in the water, the basin has become the largest septic tank in Latin America. This is one of the most serious environmental problems in the region, not only because of the pollution but also because of the social cost of 8,000 families who are at risk of losing their homes and even drowning in sewage. Before addressing this situation, the regime of Nicolás Maduro prefers to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and leave the neighbors abandoned to the eternal Venezuelan improvisation.

17/09/2017 10:45:23

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The first lines of Guillermo Saavedra's poem are the leitmotiv of this story: "Calm is the water of misfortune." Calm was the standing water of Lake Valencia and the misfortune has descended with a definite certainty on the families that at a bad time decided to buy homes in the neighborhoods of its basins. The people in La Punta and Mata Redonda know it. Back in the 1980s these areas presumed to be middle-class developments and today are two large open-air sewers. Spacious houses surrounded by standing water, some abandoned and others invaded. In La Punta, the area closest to the lake, there are only 12 houses left from the original 500. The others were demolished after their owners were compensated.

Before arriving there, it is necessary to pay attention to the details that announce that, in a few years, La Punta and Mata Redonda and ten other developments and neighborhoods will be the Venezuelan version of Atlantis, the submerged continent. A row of lamp posts gets lost in the distance. They appear smaller, sink as they get far away. They are 10 meters (32.80 ft) high, but submerged in water, they look much smaller. There is no inclined street or broad plain that explains that. Lake Valencia, in addition to avenues, hectares of estates and entire communities, has also swallowed the lighting.