Slums, South América’s increasingly danger

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If you live-in low-income countries, especially Latin American countries, you will witness a phenomenon that is now a thing of the past both in the European welfare states and in capitalist powers such as the United States: the “villas miserias”.

The Argentinean case

The origin of these villages can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, when countries such as Argentina, for example, were subject to massive European immigration. Lacking residential structures, the immigrants, and later their descendants, built their own homes on land allocated by the impoverished states, which could not provide their citizens with anything more than barren fields.

There they built their structures, first in sheet metal and wood as the main support, and then, over the years (and the cheapening of building materials), in brick.

The main characteristic of these constructions is precisely their structural precariousness; the inhabitants who live there lack some of the most basic public services, such as water and electricity, and do not have enough money to repair the interior structures (kitchen restoration, bathroom repairs, etc). In Argentina, for example, the average salary of an inhabitant of a shantytown is about 20,000 pesos (equivalent to about $150), which is also not enough to finance the basic food of the local inhabitants.

In Argentina, there are at least 50 large shantytowns with a population of about 2.5 million, and with a poverty rate close to 50% of the total, the outlook is not at all encouraging. In addition, most of these settlements are prone to collapse, also due to poor maintenance. These environments are also known to be highly dangerous and are known to be the scenes of kidnapping, torture, murder, etc., which further obscures the reputation of those who reside in them (whether they are criminals or not).