Buenos Aires, Argentina
María Amasanti is a freelance photojournalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently pursuing a masters degree in journalism at a joint program by the Argentine daily LA NACION (www.lanacion.com.ar) and University Torcuato di Tella. She has been published in The Boston Globe, LA NACION, Perfil, among others.
- Breaking news
Elefante Blanco - Residents
The 19 families that remain outside claim that the government isn't willing to negotiate under good terms. The offer housing subsidies, but the neighbors say that it is not enough money to move even to the shanty town, known as the Hidden City or Villa 15, that surrounds the Elephant. Meanwhile, each time a family leaves, the government demolishes the house and leaves the debris in place. The government claims that this is so no other family will move in – but neighbors complain that this worsens their conditions, as their young kids will often play barefoot on top of the broken bricks, contaminated water, old TV sets, sofas, chairs, glass bottles, and exposed wires.
The Elefante Blanco, or White Elephant, is a building in the southern edge of Buenos Aires, built in the mid 1930s to be the largest hospital in Latin America. Abandoned in 1955, its ruins became the home of hundreds of families throughout the decades. Now, the city government hopes to destroy the hospital and build a new ministry in its place. In 2013, when negotiations started, 180 families still lived inside of it, and 90 had made their homes just outside of it. Today, no families remain inside and only 19 still live outside.