‘I moved into underground sewer with my wife – I live better than the president’

A pensioner and his wife swapped their home for a tiny underground sewer, insisting he lived “better than the president” in the tiny space.

Miguel Restrepo told his incredible story in an interview with the Associated Press after going underground in the 10ft by 6ft space with Maria Garcia and their pet dog in Medellin, Colombia.

The couple were forced to make the move after he lost his job recycling bottles and cans.

Every day for those living in sewers, there is a constant fight for survival, with fears over how high the water gets and whether or not they can keep their head above the human waste.

But Restrepo was delighted with his situation and insisted in 2012: “I live better than the president here, no one bothers me and I don’t bother anyone.

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“I go to sleep at whatever time I want. The president lives saddled with all those problems.”

Living in the tiny sewer has not deterred the husband and wife, who managed to make some impressive renovations to their confined space.

They installed shelving space to stock clothes and cooking items and also managed to fit in a stove, fan, bed, television, and other home decorations.

Restrepo was relatively happy with their living situation but said in 2012: “The only thing that I am missing is some painting.

“This year, I’ll paint it. We’ll have to wait and see. I live really, really well here.”

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At the time, he also credited his dog Negrita for never being robbed during his years living in a sewer.

Restrepo and Garcia are not the only Colombians who have lived in the country’s sewer systems, and the situation has proved to be horrendous for many others.

In the capital of Bogota, thousands of children have been forced underground since the wealthy elite formed “death squads” to dispose of them in the 80s.

They lived in fear of these groups, who fired open rounds and poured gasoline into their underground homes, before setting them alight.

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Alberto Granada said he was homeless at the age of just seven and when he was nine years old, had no choice but to seek refuge in the sewers.

He told Vice News in 2012: “They wore masks, drove around in cars, and would come during the night.

“They would come to kill the street children. That’s why we had to seek refuge in the sewers.”

Granada added: “When you’re living in the sewers you’ve hit the lowest point a human being can reach because there you lose everything.”

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