The Mayor of Libertador, the municipality that encompasses the western part of Caracas, says that squatters in 241 apartment buildings will stay in their homes, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports. Mayor Jorge Rodríguez has issued a decree to ban evictions in the area, says the paper, which seems to stand against the squatters.
The squatters seem caught in the middle of a dispute between supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez. The former 'Chavista' mayor allowed the squatters to move in to several hundred vacant buildings in the city. In the last election, the opposition won, and took over the reins of city government, while Chavistas like Mayor Rodriguez won in some local government areas. The Chavistas seem to be trying to keep the squatters in, while the opposition may be currying favor with landowners and developers.