Jorge's Feed
May 13, 2014
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When the news hits home

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Caracas, Venezuela

By Jorge Silva

We came back home today, Monday, after four nights out, and my almost two-year-old daughter doesn’t understand why her toys and her teddy bears are not in her room.

Last Thursday, when I was awakened suddenly by  the sound of screaming and people banging on frying pans at 3:30 am, I knew it was going to be a complicated day. Another one, in the -so far- 3 months of protests.

May 8, 2014

Venezuela arrests hundreds of youths in crackdown on protests

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan security forces on Thursday rounded up hundreds of youth activists camped in public spaces as part of protests against President Nicolas Maduro, an effort to snuff out the waning demonstration movement.

Troops staged pre-dawn raids to break up four improvised tent camps decorated with Venezuelan flags and signs bearing protest slogans, one of which had for weeks been blocking traffic along a main avenue of the capital.

Apr 23, 2014
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Times of protest

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Caracas, Venezuela

By Jorge Silva

April 12 marked two months since the first people died in a wave of unrest that hit Venezuela this year. The day sat between the April 11th anniversary of the 2002 coup against then-President Hugo Chavez, and April 13th – the day that he managed to return to office. Those dates still serve as a reminder of the political division and sense of confrontation that has long existed in this country.

Last year I was part of a team covering protests that erupted following the 2013 presidential election, which was called after Chavez’s death. The clashes finally subsided and we put away our riot gear – gas masks, flak vests and helmets – confident that we wouldn’t need it again so soon.

Apr 2, 2014
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The Tower of David – Venezuela’s “vertical slum”

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Caracas, Venezuela

By Jorge Silva

I have wanted to photograph life inside Caracas’ Tower of David – also known as “the vertical slum” – for years now. At times, it became something of an obsession; it was a story I had to tackle.

The tower is an icon of modern-day Caracas. Although squats or “occupied spaces” are common downtown, the Tower of David has literally taken the phenomenon to whole new levels. The third-tallest building in the country, it was intended as a financial center but abandoned after its developer died and the financial sector crashed. Squatters have now occupied the tower for years. Its unfinished, humongous, modified skeleton can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The stories of what happens inside have become the stuff of urban legend.

Apr 2, 2014

Venezuela’s ‘skyscraper slum’ provides haven for poor

CARACAS (Reuters) – It boasts a helicopter landing pad, glorious views of the Avila mountain range, and large balconies for weekend barbecues.

Yet this 45-storey skyscraper in the center of Venezuela’s capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum, probably the tallest in the world.

Mar 13, 2014
via Photographers' Blog

A year without the Comandante

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Caracas, Venezuela

By Jorge Silva

March 5, 2014

Once in a great while there comes a day that marks the end of an era. That’s what happened the afternoon Hugo Chavez died.

It was a year ago as I write this blog, and at times I still find it hard to believe. He was such a dominant presence that in the days after his death that it seemed he would appear at any moment on national TV or in a military parade. The months passed and reality sank in. Today Venezuela seems to be a very different country from the one he left behind. It feels as if it happened a long time ago.

Feb 19, 2014

Venezuela opposition leader surrenders, protesters flood streets

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan security forces arrested opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on Tuesday on charges of fomenting unrest that has killed at least four people, bringing tens of thousands of his angry supporters onto the streets of Caracas.

Crowds of white-clad protesters tried to block the vehicle carrying the 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist after he made a defiant speech, said an emotional farewell to his family, and gave himself up to soldiers.

Feb 18, 2014

Protesters flood streets as Venezuela opposition leader arrested

CARACAS (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Venezuela’s capital on Tuesday after troops arrested opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on charges of fomenting unrest against the government and violence that has killed at least four people.

White-clad demonstrators blocked traffic in the streets of Caracas as a security vehicle holding the 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist crawled at a snail’s pace after he surrendered to security forces during an opposition rally.

Feb 18, 2014

Venezuela protest leader surrenders, fourth person dies in unrest

CARACAS (Reuters) – Hardline opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez handed himself over to Venezuelan security forces on Tuesday and a fourth person died from political unrest over the past week against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist who has spearheaded the protest movement, got into an armored vehicle after giving a speech to an opposition rally in Caracas on another chaotic day in the South American OPEC member nation.

Sep 3, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Latitude Zero from underwater

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

By Jorge Silva

Once your eyes go below the ocean waterline, you know that there is an immense parallel universe brimming with images.

Ever since I began taking pictures I haven’t discovered anything that grabs me like diving does. Luckily, I don’t have to neglect photography while diving; they are perfectly complementary.

    • About Jorge

      "Jorge Silva was born in Mexico City, where he studied journalism before deciding on photography. He began freelancing in 1998 in Mexico, and joined Reuters in 2000 as stringer based in Guatemala City. He was hired as staff photographer in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2003. His career highlights include troop embeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Haiti eartquake and World Cup in South Africa."
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