A selection of our best images of 2014 from Latin America and the Caribbean starts with the case of 43 missing — and apparently slain — students in Mexico that ignited indignation across the country and around the world.
In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo, demonstrators protest the disappearance of 43 students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, in Mexico City. Tens of thousands marched in Mexico City’s main avenue demanding the return of the missing students who were rounded up by local police in Iguala, a town in southern Mexico, and handed over to gunmen from a drug cartel Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Officials acknowledged they disappeared at the hands of a corrupt local government and federal authorities took 10 days to intervene.
In this June 7, 2014 photo, 17-year-old Miguel Chusqui grimaces in pain as he is lashed by a “rondero,” a member of a citizen vigilante group known as a “ronda urbana,” or urban patrol, in Cajamarca, Peru. Chusqui was sentenced to five lashes for stealing a laptop. Rondas only handle cases that authorities consider minor, settling property and debt disputes, family quarrels and marital infidelities. If a felony is committed, the rondas turn the transgressor over to police. The harshest sentence they administer, they say, is banishment. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Whip-cracking vigilantes served up justice in the highlands of Peru, and self-defense groups in Mexico fought to flush out cartels from their neighborhoods, two examples of how some Latin Americans are responding to corrupt, indifferent police forces and the erosion of state-run criminal justice.
In this July 12, 2014 photo, Brazil soccer fans react in disbelief as their team trails the Netherlands during a live broadcast of the World Cup soccer match, inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Dutch beat host Brazil 3-0. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Brazilians struggled to come to grips with the unthinkable: Brazil suffered its worst World Cup loss ever — and on home turf, as the nation hosted the tournament for the first time in 64 years.
In this July 12, 2014 photo, relatives carry the coffin of Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez, a Guatemalan boy whose decomposed body was found in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, to a local cemetery in San Jose Las Flores, Guatemala. The 15-year-old Guatemalan migrant was buried in his hometown nearly a month after he became a symbol of the perils facing unaccompanied children who have been flooding illegally into the U.S. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
Fifteen-year-old Guatemalan migrant Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez became a symbol of the perils facing unaccompanied children who have been flooding illegally into the U.S. after his decomposed body was found in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
In this Feb. 22, 2014 photo, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Mexico. Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Mexican authorities captured the world’s most powerful drug lord after a massive search through the home state of the legendary capo whose global organization is the leading supplier of cocaine to the United States.
In this April 3, 2014 photo, government supporters beat a naked opposition student as he’s forced to sit on the ground inside of the Central University of Venezuela, UCV, during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela. Students attempted to march from the university to protest the country’s deteriorating economy, but hundreds of riot police prevented them from leaving campus, deploying tear gas and flash-bang grenades. The hours-long street battle ended with pro-government groups in bandanas storming the campus. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Venezuelans protesting crime, inflation and widespread shortages staged protests that left more than 40 people dead and landed their leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail.
In this Sept. 25, 2014 photo, containers hold genetically modified aedes aegypti mosquitoes before being released in Panama City. They are being released to combat and control populations of mosquitoes that transmit dengue. The aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector for another viral disease called chikungunya that appeared less than a year ago in the Americas and is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, bringing the total number infected in the epidemic to more than 1 million. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
A viral disease called chikungunya appeared less than a year ago in the Americas and raged across the region, bringing the total number infected in the epidemic to more than 1 million.
In this Nov. 30, 2014 photo, children dressed as “El Chapulin Colorado” and “El Chavo del Ocho” characters, release white doves during the memorial service of Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolanos at the Azteca stadium the in Mexico City. The iconic Mexican comedian who also wrote and played the boy television character “El Chavo del Ocho” and “El Chapulin Colorado,” defined a generation for millions of Latin American children, died Friday at age 85. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Iconic Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolanos, who defined a generation for millions of Latin American children with his television characters “El Chavo del Ocho” and “El Chapulin Colorado,” died at age 85 in November.
In this April 21, 2014 photo, rain falls on pavement painted with a yellow butterfly in a street where the late Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born prior to a symbolic funeral ceremony in Aracataca, in Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Garcia Marquez died at the age of 87 in Mexico City on April 17. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the author’s masterpiece, clouds of yellow butterflies precede a forbidden lover’s arrival. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
And the world mourned the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel Literature laureate whose flamboyant and melancholy works outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.
Click on any image to see more selections from Best Photos of 2014 from Latin America gallery.
EDS. NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT – In this Dec. 5, 2014 photo, farmer Agustin Gomez Perez runs engulfed in flames after he was lit on fire as a form of protest outside the Chiapas state legislature in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Perez, 21, was demanding the release of his father, indigenous leader Florentino Gomez Giron, who was arrested last year on charges stemming from a series of demonstrations in 2011 that turned violent. Agustin was taken to a hospital, and his stepmother, Araceli Diaz, said he was “serious but stable” condition with second- and third-degree burns. (AP Photo/Cuartoscuro, Jacob Garcia)
In this Nov. 12, 2014 photo, a column of policemen move into a gold mining camp as part of an operation to eradicate illegal mining in the area known as La Pampa, in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. Less than a month before Peru played host to global climate talks, the government sent police into southeastern jungles to dismantle illegal gold-mining mining camps. Fifty-thousand hectares of rainforest have been obliterated in the past six years in the wasteland known as La Pampa. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, 4-year-old patient Saul Valverde kisses Andariego, a 19-year-old veteran horse that retired from “charreria,” the Mexican version of a rodeo, at a corral in southern Mexico City. Andariego now works as a therapy horse, helping children with special needs. In Mexico, the career of the charro horse usually runs about 10 to 12 years. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
In this March 3, 2014 photo, Djalma Antonio Jardim, who has a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP,” looks in a a mirror at his home in the Araras community of Brazil’s Goias state. In an effort to camouflage how the disease has eaten away the skin on his lips, nose, cheeks and eyes, Jardim wears a rudimentary orange-tinted mask, its stenciled-in right eyebrow not matching his bushy real one that remains. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
In his Oct. 15, 2014 photo, 8-year-old Yodimiler Arias, along with fellow wrestlers, listen to instruction from their teacher, in a park in Old Havana, Cuba. Yodimiler’s mother said the U.S. flag motif wrestling suit was sent by her cousin in the United States. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this March 3, 2014 photo, blood and shattered glass cover the pavement after gunmen opened fire on the driver of a passenger bus, Roger Enrique Hernandez Gutierrez, and his assistant, killing them both in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Taxi and passenger bus drivers are targets of gangs seeking extortion money in this country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this July 17, 2014 photo, boys watch television in their room at The Great Family group home in Zamora, Mexico. After a police raid on the refuse-strewn group home, residents of the shelter told authorities that some employees beat residents, fed them rotting food or locked them in a tiny “punishment” room. Shelter residents were still being kept at the home while officials look for places to transfer them. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this March 25, 2014 photo, people reach out to receive a bucketful of water as vendors, police and firemen work together to put out a fire at La Terminal, the largest and most important market in Guatemala City. Firefighters struggled to manage the fire that destroyed hundreds of shops due to the lack of water hydrants in the area, located south of the historic city center. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
In this May 20, 2014 photo, a female baby sloth peeks out from behind a door on a floating house in the ‘Lago do Janauari’ near Manaus, Brazil. The sloth was captured by the owner of the floating house, who makes a living showing local fauna to visitors. In an an attempt to prevent any harm to the animals he says he only keeps each animal for a few weeks before returning it to it’s natural habitat. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Divaldo Aguiar, who plays the part of Pachencho, lies inside a mock coffin as villagers splash rum into Aguiar’s mouth during the Burial of Pachencho celebration at a cemetery in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba. The bash kicked off with the slow procession to the local cemetery as pallbearers carried the coffin of “Pachencho,” known the other 364 days of the year as Divaldo Aguiar, to an open grave and used ropes to lower it six feet under. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
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Text from the AP news story, AP PHOTOS: Best of 2014 from Latin America. These photos were selected from a gallery curated by photo editor Enric Marti in Mexico City.
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