As Latin America and the Caribbean say goodbye to another year, The Associated Press offers a look back at some of the most interesting happenings of 2015 through the eyes of the region’s photojournalists.
One of the most important developments throughout the year was the thaw of relations between Cuba and the United States, with a visit to the island by Pope Francis sandwiched in.
The Argentine-born Francis, who is the first Roman Catholic pontiff from the Western Hemisphere, also toured several South American countries.
Latin America’s political spectrum nudged to the right with big election losses by left-of-center governments in Argentina and Venezuela. First, market-friendly candidate Mauricio Macri was elected president in Argentina, where government intervention and regulation have been the norm more than a decade, then the Venezuelan opposition scored its first major election victory in 17 years of socialist rule by winning control of congress.
In Mexico, a national uproar over 43 college students who went missing after being detained by police in the city of Iguala put a spotlight on the country’s problem of disappeared people, emboldening other families in the same area to come forward to tell the stories of their missing relatives.
Mexican authorities suffered embarrassment when notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison west of the capital. He used an adapted motorcycle on rails to race through a mile-long tunnel his confederates dug to his cell. He is still on the run.
Peru’s government waged a relentless campaign against wildcat mining in the Madre de Dios region in the Amazon, with police staging multiple raids on settlements to evict illegal miners and blow up mining equipment.
With public anger over corruption spreading in several Central American nations, allegations of wrongdoing forced Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to resign. He was taken to jail to await trial.
Industrial disaster delivered a deadly blow to the Brazilian town of Bento Rodrigues, which was swept over by roiling floodwaters and mud unleashed when a dam burst at a nearby iron ore mine. The flood of mud and pollution eventually made it to the Atlantic, following the course of the Doce River.
Potential threats from nature kept the region’s people on alert as volcanoes erupted — the most ominous being Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala, Momotombo in Nicaragua and Cabulco in Chile.
Curated by Enric Marti, AP regional photo editor for Latin America and Caribbean.
See these photos on APImages.com
In this Jan. 11, 2015 photo, Roman Figun, a local lawyer, performs the role of Pope Francis with the Ara Yevi samba school as he stands on a bus representing his humble arrival to the Vatican during carnival celebrations in Gualeguaychu, Argentina. Ara Yevi, one of the three samba schools performing this year, used Pope Francis as their central theme. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Jan. 11, 2015 photo, a competitor races past Cactus Island along the Uyuni salt flats during the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally 2015 between Uyuni, Bolivia, and Iquique, Chile. The race will finish on Jan. 17, passing through Bolivia and Chile before returning to Argentina where it started. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this Jan. 19, 2015 photo, kids do their homework inside the courtyard of an apartment building in Havana, Monday. Cuba has so far offered a guardedly positive reception to President Barack Obama’s loosening of the trade embargo on Cuba, saying it welcomes the full package of new economic ties on offer, but it insists it will maintain its one-party political system and centrally planned economy. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, a Gentoo penguin feeds its baby at Station Bernardo O’Higgins in Antarctica. “To understand many aspects in the diversity of animals and plants it’s important to understand when continents disassembled,” said Richard Spikings, a research geologist at the University of Geneva. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Feb. 1, 2015 photo, Russian Orthodox priest Sophrony Kirilov, 38, pets a Skua outside his home in King George Island, Antarctica. Penguins are his favorite animals, but Kirilov says he has also made friends with three large brown Skuas, Antarctic scavenging birds often seen hovering outside his doorstep in search of fresh fish caught by the priest. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Jan. 29, 2015 photo, Mary Jose Cristerna, a Mexican known as The Vampire Woman, poses for the public to take portraits of her during the annual Venezuela Tattoo International Expo in Caracas, Venezuela. Tattoo artists from around the world are gathering for the four-day event that also includes under the skin implants and body piercing. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as “Pitito,” performs during his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan said he most liked being a clown while performing a variety of acts at his father’s circus, which he took over in the 70s, and that a clown has to be humble, speak from the heart and give joy to all ages. He added his disappointment with some clowns today who are vulgar with their audience. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Feb. 12, 2015 photo, an elderly patient in costume from the Nise de Silveira mental health institute dances during the institute’s carnival parade, coined in Portuguese: “Loucura Suburbana,” or Suburban Madness, in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Patients, their relatives and institute employees held their parade one day before the official start of Carnival. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
In this Feb. 15, 2015 photo, two boys attend the wake of Renato Garcia, dressed as fictional superhero the Green Lantern and propped up against a wall in his sister’s apartment, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Garcia’s sister explained that she and her brother never discussed funeral wishes, but neighbors and friends suggested dressing him as the comic book superhero. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
In this Feb. 26, 2015 photo, a protester injured in a scuffle with police shouts out his name as he and a woman are detained in Mexico City. The pair, and other protesters who had taken part in a march marking the fifth month of the disappearance of 43 students from a rural teachers college, clashed with police after they were prevented from entering the subway. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this Sunday, March 29, 2015 photo, a man from the La Mar district of Ayacucho, sings in Quechua, holding a Peruvian national flag as he performs in the Vencedores de Ayacucho dance festival, in the Acho bullring in Lima, Peru. The different dance troupes that perform during the one-day competition typically bring a representation of Peru’s national flag to assert their nationality as well as their ethnic background. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 10, 2015 photo, a demonstrator carries a sign that reads in Spanish: “They took them alive, return them alive,” in reference to 43 missing students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college, during a march to the private TV channel Televisa in Mexico City. The missing students’ parents and supporters accuse national media outlets of decreasing their coverage of the missing students after statements by then-Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam who said his investigators indicated all 43 students were killed by the Guerreros Unidos drug gang. The parents still have no concrete information on what happened to their children, and demand their voices be aired in order to continue the search for them. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this March 14, 2015 photo, farmers walk with their donkeys on a snow covered road in La Cumbre mountain on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
In this March 17, 2015 photo, Renato Dias, 39, writes in his notebook as he poses for a portrait in an open-air crack cocaine market, known as a ‘cracolandia’ or crackland, where users can buy crack, and smoke it in plain sight, day or night, in Rio de Janeiro. Dias, who has been using crack for about 4 years, says he uses his notebook as a form of distraction. He writes about super heroes and dreams of becoming one. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this April 7, 2015 photo, a military police officer aims his gun to a demonstrator during a protest in Brasilia, Brazil. The officer had picked up a bottle that was thrown towards them but did not fire his gun and backed away. Thousands of workers have staged rallies in 12 cities across Brazil to protest against a proposed law that would allow companies to outsource their labor force. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
In this April 10, 2015 photo, a child reads a sign in favor of the U.S. repealing sanctions against Venezuela, before the arrival of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to a monument honoring the victims of the 1989 U.S. invasion, in the Chorrillo neighborhood which saw the heaviest fighting during the invasion, in Panama City. Maduro said he planned to hand over about 10 million signatures to President Barack Obama during the Summit of the Americas, asking him to the repeal an order that froze the assets of seven Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights violations and corruption. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this April 11, 2015 photo, Cuba’s President Raul Castro talks at reporters before turning to leave the staging area of the official group photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City. Castro is flanked by his personal assistant and grandson, Raul Guillermo Rodriguez Castro, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, and Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves. Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama held their first formal meeting in more than half a century on Saturday, clearing the way for a normalization of relations. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)
In this April 18, 2015 photo, a monkey dips its hand into a water receptacle at the Amazon Animal Orphanage in the Pilpintuwasi rainforest, near Iquitos, Peru. The monkey was among dozens of animals that Animal Defenders International, with the assistance of the Peru’s air force and navy, airlifted Saturday to the animal refuge in Peru’s amazon rainforest from Lima, where they were held after being rescued from animal traffickers and circus programs. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this April 25, 2015 photo, residents evacuate with a few salvaged belongings after their home was destroyed by a volcanic mudflow, caused by the eruption of the Calbuco volcano, in an area along the Rio Blanco in Puerto Montt, Chile. Authorities urged 2,000 people living near the volcano to evacuate Friday after potentially devastating mudflows of volcanic debris were detected in a nearby river, the result of two huge eruptions this week that sent ash across large swaths of southern South America. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
In this May 1, 2015 photo, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, left, and Cuba President Raul Castro acknowledge marchers as they parade past marking May Day in Revolution Square, in Havana. Thousands of people converged on the plaza for the traditional march, led this year by the two leaders. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this May 7, 2015 photo, Graciela Meneses poses for a picture on Fishermen’s Beach, holding her self-made float, decorated with fake, plastic plants, after swimming in the Pacific Ocean in Lima, Peru. Graciela, 67, says she lost 39 kilograms (85 pounds) by exercising in the sea. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this May 12, 2015 photo, bodyguards stand around France’s President Francois Hollande, second from right, and Haiti’s President Michel Martelly, right, during a flower laying ceremony at the statue of Haiti’s Revolution leader Toussaint Louverture at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hollande is making the second visit ever by a sitting president of France to its once prized possession of Haiti, where bountiful resources and brutal plantation slavery made it the European nation’s most profitable colony some 250 years ago. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
In this May 19, 2015 photo, riot police detain men during a land eviction in Lima, Peru. On Monday, hundreds of people squatted on land that according to the Ministry of Culture is an archaeological site. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this May 29, 2015 photo, fans take photographs of pop artist Rihanna, wearing a green scarf, as she is transported in an American classic car, after a photo shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz at a building on the Malecon, in Havana. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
In this June 7, 2015 photo, men are reflected in a mirror on a costume during the Corpus Christi dance in Pujili, Ecuador. Pujili dancers, their costumes representing the Andean condor, perform on the streets of the town in a mix of Catholic beliefs and indigenous ancestral traditions of the harvest. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
This June 19, 2015 aerial photo shows a white heron taking flight over revealed fish nests, normally inches below the waterline in La Plata reservoir in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Thanks to El Nino, a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that affects global weather, less rain fell to help refill Puerto Rico’s La Plata reservoir, as well as La Plata river in the central island community of Naranjito. A tropical disturbance that hit the U.S. territory on Monday did not fill up those reservoirs as officials had anticipated. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
In this June 20, 2015 photo, Roberto Viga, 50, takes a bite from a chunk of cooked yucca, during his break from harvesting coca leaves in Samugari, Peru. Nearly all the coca picked ends up being processed into cocaine, and many worry that the government will finally begin destroying the crop, as it has elsewhere. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this June 27, 2015 photo, two young men wearing rainbow colored wings march in the annual gay pride parade, past an evangelical church with a sign that reads in Spanish; “Jesus Christ does miracles,” in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this July 6, 2015 photo, nuns arrive at Independence square, invited to attend the meeting of Pope Francis and Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa in Quito, Ecuador. After a Mass in the port city of Guayaquil where hundreds of thousands listened to Pope Francis while standing in the hot sun, he will return to the Capital of Quito. Francis is making his first visit as pope to his Spanish-speaking neighborhood. He’ll travel to three South American nations, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. (AP Photo/Ana Buitron)
In this July 10, 2015 photo, Pope Francis waves from a car as he leaves Palmasola prison after visiting prisoners in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pope Francis wrapped up his pilgrimage to Bolivia with a visit to its notoriously violent and overcrowded Palmasola prison, where inmates have the run of the place, drugs are cheaper than on the street and money buys survival. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this July 10, 2015 photo, Jair Ortega, 3, poses for a street photographer next to police special forces and a life-size cut out figure of Pope Francis, after the departure of the pope from Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Jair’s mother asked the officers to pose with her son, saying he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this July 14, 2015 photo, a motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this July 27, 2015 photo, newlyweds pose for photos during their photo session at the fortress of the Morro in Santiago. While Cuban cities are seeing stagnant visitor numbers, cruise ships provide a promising new potential source of visitors, although dockings remain relatively rare. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this July 6, 2015 photo, Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he rides in the popemobile through Samanes Park, where he will celebrate Mass, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. A crowd estimated at 1 million people, greeted Francis on the packed dirt of Samanes Park for a late-morning Mass. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
In this Aug. 12, 2015 photo, a police officer rests during the destruction of an illegal gold mining camp in the area known as La Pampa, in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. Authorities have launched 15 such operations here in Madre de Dios state since declaring unpermitted, wildcat mining a crime in 2012, blasting dredges, backhoes and motors to bits and expelling thousands of miners and their families from muddy makeshift jungle settlements. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Aug. 14, 2015 photo, a girl looks out from the newly opened U.S. Embassy, overlooking the staging area, at the end of the flag raising ceremony in Havana. Cuba and U.S. officially restored diplomatic relations July 20. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In Aug. 17, 2015 photo, Mathieux Saint Fleur, wearing a bandage over his eye, is sandwiched between the driver and his sons Renald St. Fleur, far right, and Jackilo Joseph, as they take a motorcycle taxi home after his cataract surgery in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. The 75-year-old had been virtually blind for two decades and was able to see again after surgery by volunteer eye doctors organized by the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
In this Sept. 3, 2015 photo, the Cotopaxi volcano spews ash and vapor, as seen from El Pedregal, Ecuador. Cotopaxi began showing renewed activity in April and its last major eruption was in 1877. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
In this Sept. 11, 2015 photo, Marisa Ramirez Gutierrez, standing center, holds still on her throne dressed in the robe of the the “Iyawo,” or bride, alongside a pregnant woman, right, who represents birth, and her mother, who represents a woman who has already given birth, inside her home as part of many initiation ceremonies marking the start of her one-year journey to become a Yoruba priestess in Havana. Ramirez’s other initiation rituals include a dip in a river, sitting for one day with a pregnant woman, private rituals with Yoruba priests, a celebratory dinner party with family and friends, praying to the Virgin of Charity and leaving herbal offerings at a local market. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this Sept. 7, 2015 photo, a young devotee performs while holding a Bible during a service at the Contemporary Christian Church in Rio de Janeiro. At the Contemporary Christian Church, which celebrated its ninth anniversary and the opening of its ninth branch with a raucous, theatrical service, homosexuality is celebrated rather than stigmatized. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
In this Sept. 8, 2015 photo, Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina, photographed through a window, sits in court for a third hearing on corruption allegations that led him to resign, in Guatemala City. The court is considering allegations that Perez Molina was involved in a scheme in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, a worker prepares to fit a wooden arm onto a Christ statue during preparations of the altar where Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution, in Havana. When Francis arrives in Havana on Sept. 19, he’ll find his church ministering to more Cubans than at any time since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)
This is an 84-photo composite of people, each holding an image of their missing relative. The photographs of the 84 were shot between April and August of 2015 in the city of Iguala and surrounding towns. The world, and even most of Mexico, paid little attention to Iguala until 43 students from a rural teachers’ college disappeared on Sept. 26, 2014. Two months after the students disappeared, many other families in the area began coming forward to tell their stories, emboldened by the international attention focused on the missing students. Their message was simple: there are many more missing. They called them ‘the other disappeared.’ The AP interviewed the relatives of 158 of those missing. Only 84 agreed to be photographed because they are still very fearful. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Oct. 3, 2015 photo, Welsar Nazario carries the coffin of his five-month-old nephew Alezandro Macario, who died in a mudslide, to the Santa Catarina Pinula cemetery on the outskirts of Guatemala City. Rescue workers recovered more bodies early Saturday after a hillside collapsed on homes on Thursday night, while more are feared still buried in the rubble. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
In this Oct. 5, 2015 photo, a man from Easter Island dances as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, behind, is given an Easter Island flag on the sidelines of the Our Ocean international conference on marine protection in Vina del Mar, Chile. President Barack Obama declared new marine sanctuaries in Lake Michigan and the tidal waters of Maryland on Monday, while Chile blocked off a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean near the world-famous Easter Island from commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
In this Oct. 15, 2015 photo, Jonatan Jimenez carries his dead dog Roco, for the sea to take his body away in La Herradura beach in Chorrillos, Lima, Peru. According to Jimenez, he used to always walk on the beach with Roco, so he wanted it to be his final resting place. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Oct. 25, 2015 photo, a convoy of soldiers trying to reach the village of Rebalse after hearing reports that it was flooded, is forced by muddy roads to turn back, outside Cihuatlan, Jalisco state, Mexico, Sunday. The soldiers were later able to access the village via another badly broken and flooded road as they drove past devastated banana fields. Patricia roared ashore in Mexico on Friday as a Category 5 terror that barreled toward land with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph). But the arrival of the most powerful hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere caused remarkably little destruction. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this Nov. 6, 2015 photo, horses struggle in the mud at the small town of Bento Rodrigues after a dam burst in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Brazilian rescuers searched feverishly Friday for possible survivors after two dams burst at an iron ore mine in a southeastern mountainous area. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this Nov. 7, 2015 photo, people carry an injured dog they rescued in the small town of Bento Rodrigues, which flooded after a dam burst in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Brazilian searchers are looking for people still listed as missing following the Thursday burst of two dams at an iron ore mine in a southeastern mountainous area. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this Nov. 11, 2015 photo, Fernando Karadima is escorted from a court, after testifying in a case that three of his victims brought against the country’s Catholic Church in Santiago, Chile. The Vatican ordered Karadima to life of penance and prayer in 2011 for abusing three young boys. A local judge determined the abuse allegations were truthful but absolved Karadima because the time limit had expired for prosecution. The three victims who filed the suit accuse the Chilean Catholic church of a cover up. The church has rejected the accusation. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
In this Nov. 1, 2015 photo, candles illuminate children’s tombs in the San Gregorio cemetery during Day of the Dead festivities on the outskirts of Mexico City. In a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2, families decorate the graves of departed relatives with marigolds and candles, and spend the night in the cemetery, eating and drinking as they keep company with their deceased loved ones. At this cemetery, families pay a special tribute to children who have died, on the night of Oct. 31 into the morning of Nov. 1. The following night, families keep vigil at the tombs of adults. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Nov. 17, 2015 photo, Cuban migrants are reflected in the window of a nun’s jeep, as they gather round for free breakfast items, near the immigration office in Peñas Blancas, Costa Rica. More than 1,000 Cuban migrants heading north to the United States tried to cross the border from Costa Rica into Nicaragua, causing tensions to soar between the neighbors as security forces sought to turn them back. Nicaragua’s government responded furiously on Sunday with a statement saying that Costa Rica “had deliberately and irresponsibly thrown, and continues to throw” the Cuban migrants into its territory, violating its national sovereignty. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Nov. 20, 2015 photo, protesters drag to safety a fellow demonstrator injured by a machete when he was attacked by a resident in a neighborhood known for its support of the ruling party, during a protest march against official preliminary election results, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Residents began throwing rocks at marchers as they made their way through the neighborhood. One protester was killed by a gunshot, when police intervened in the clashes between the residents and protesters. The presidential runoff election is Dec. 27. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
In this Nov. 21, 2015 photo, a girl questions why the man standing next to her was allowed to step ahead of her in a line for free water, at a distribution site, in Colatina, Brazil. Residents were queuing day and night for the bottles of water. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
In this Nov. 22, 2015 photo, opposition presidential candidate Mauricio Macri and his wife Juliana Awada, back left, celebrate after winning a runoff presidential election in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Macri won Argentina’s historic runoff election against ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli, putting an end to the era of President Cristina Fernandez, who along with her late husband dominated Argentine politics for 12 years. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
The past year was filled with sports events in Latin America, both traditional and not so traditional.
In a region where soccer is undisputed king, Chile won the South American crown for the first time as it triumphed in the Copa America tournament on home ground while world favorites Brazil and Argentina managed to lose once again.
The Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana tournaments saw spirited action as the region’s best professional soccer teams competed — though not all the clashes were on the field. In Argentina, tempers flared in the stands and fans threw pepper spray at players for the River Plate club during its match with rival Argentine team Boca Juniors. The game had to be suspended.
The soccer craze even made an appearance at Argentina’s Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. When Italy’s Valentino Rossi won the MotoGP race, he celebrated by donning an Argentine national team jersey emblazoned with the name and No. 10 of former star and World Cup winner Diego Armando Maradona.
Drivers from around the world took part in the Dakar Rally, which was held again in South America, passing though Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
The best track and field athletes from the Western Hemisphere competed at the Pan Am Games in Oshawa, Ontario, while in Palmas, Brazil, indigenous peoples from around the world took part in the World Indigenous Games, a nine-day event promoted as a sort of indigenous Olympics.
In this Jan. 12, 2015 photo, competitors race across the Uyuni salt flats at the start of the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally 2015 between Uyuni, Bolivia, and Iquique, Chile, Monday. The race will finish on Jan. 17, passing through Bolivia and Chile before returning to Argentina where it started. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)
In this Feb. 4, 2015 photo, Dominican Republic outfielder Leury Garcia fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a Caribbean Series baseball game against Venezuela in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
In this April 19, 2015 photo, wearing a jersey of the Argentine national soccer team with the name and number 10 of Diego Armando Maradona, Italy’s Valentino Rossi celebrates on the podium after winning the MotoGP race of the Argentina’s Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this April 21, 2015 photo, England’s bowler Ben Stokes fields a shot played by Marlon Samuels during day one of their second Test match at the National Stadium in St. George’s, Grenada. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
In this April 22, 2015 photo, Sebastian Martinez of Chile’s Universidad de Chile tosses his jersey to fans at the Banco del Pacifico stadium after his team lost a Copa Libertadores soccer match to Ecuador’s Emelec in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Wednesday. Emelec won 2-0. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
In this May 14, 2015 photo, Boca Juniors fans cheer their team before a Copa Libertadores round of sixteen soccer match against River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this May 15, 2015 photo, Marcelo Gallardo coach of River Plate, center, leaves the field protected by riot police after the match against Boca Juniors was suspended during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Conmebol authorities and referee Dario Herrera canceled the game after pepper spray was thrown from the stands towards River Plate players, before the start of the second half of the game. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
In this May 20, 2015 photo, Dairon Mosquera of Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe, right, celebrates scoring his side’s first goal against Brazil’s Internacional during a Copa Libertadores quarter finals first leg soccer match in Bogota, Colombia. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
In this June 5, 2015 photo, Australian cricket fans dance arm in arm as they watch the second innings on the third day of the first cricket Test match between Australia and West Indies in Roseau, Dominica. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
In this June 10, 2015 photo, Magno Neves dives with his board at Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro. Neves, a 23-year-old from the Cantagalo slum, surfs nearly every day at the nearby Arpoador beach. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this June 11, 2015 photo, Ecuador’s Juan Carlos Paredes kicks the ball during a Copa America Group 1 soccer match against Chile at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
In this June 15, 2015 photo, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez falls over Mexico’s Carlos Salcedo, bottom, during a Copa America Group A soccer match at El Nacional stadium in Santiago, Chile. The match ended in a 3-3 draw. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this July 4, 2015 photo, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the winning penalty kick against Argentina during the Copa America final soccer match at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. Chile became Copa America champions for the first time after it defeated Argentina in a penalty shootout. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
In this July 4, 2015 photo, Argentina’s Lionel Messi walks by the Copa America trophy after receiving the silver medal after the final game with Chile at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a save and striker Alexis Sanchez converted the winning penalty as host Chile defeated Argentina 4-1 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw in the Copa America final. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this July 14, 2015 photo, Venezuela’s Jessica Lopez performs during the women’s artistic gymnastics uneven bars competition in the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Lopez won the silver medal in the event. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this July 12, 2015 photo, Venezuela’s Genesis Rodriguez Gomez collapses during a lift attempt in the women’s 53kg weightlifting at the Pan Am Games in Oshawa, Ontario. Rodriguez took silver in the event. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this Sept. 13, 2015 photo, Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors celebrates a goal scored by teammate Nicolas Lodeiro against River Plate during a local tournament soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, Brazil’s Kamayura indigenous people take part in a ball game with hands during the World Indigenous Games in Palmas, Brazil. Organizers billed the nine-day-long event as a sort of indigenous Olympics. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
In this Nov. 8, 2015 photo, Gleison Tibau, from Brazil, back, chokes Abel Trujillo, from the United States, during their UFC lightweight mixed martial arts bout in Sao Paulo. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
In this Nov. 12, 2015 photo, Colombia’s James Rodriguez kicks Chile’s Matias Fernandez as he tries to play the ball during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Santiago, Chile, Thursday. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
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