Venezuela: Entombed In The Mud

Tragedy in Venezuela: rain mixes with poverty

The floods and mud slides that have devastated Venezuela--and that may have killed as many as 30,000 people--were an all too foreseeable tragedy. Millions of people inhabit Caracas' ranchos, the squalid shantytowns that cling to both sides of the 6,000-ft. mountains ringing the capital. And for decades those people have fought a Sisyphean battle to keep their rickety tin, cardboard and clay-block houses from tumbling down the washed-out slopes during heavy rains. Hundreds have died in past downpours, but as los ranchos kept swelling in size and population, it was only a matter of time before a deluge claimed thousands of...

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