The best images taken in 2022 by Associated Press photographers in Latin America and the Caribbean revealed the reality of migration, poverty and violence, but they also showcased the region’s intense, vibrant and colorful daily life.
Latin American countries faced growing inequality as a result of the post-pandemic global economic crisis, aggravated by the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Weather took its toll, with heavy rains overflowing rivers and unleashing mudslides that buried lives and homes in Venezuela and Ecuador.
There was no respite from violence in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, where poor residents are often caught in fighting between criminals and police. In Haiti, protests are a near-daily occurrence amid a never-ending political crisis and a growing terror from fighting among rival gangs. In El Salvador, the government cracked down while seeking to control street gangs.
Thousands of families pushed by the economic crisis or the violence crossed the jungles, deserts and rivers of the continent, usually hoping to find opportunity in the U.S. Fifty-one of them lost their dreams and lives when they were abandoned inside a packed tractor-trailer in Texas.
Citizen anger flared in Argentina in March, then Chile, Bolivia and Mexico in September and Haiti in October. With poverty rising, leftists won presidential elections in Colombia and Brazil. Instability gripped Peru after lawmakers ousted the president when he tried to dissolve Congress before an impeachment vote.
Still, amid the troubles, color, joy and traditions remained a part of life in the region.
People wore yellow flowers to honor lost loved ones in the traditional observance of the Day of the Dead in Mexico. The ” king and queen of Cavalcante ” were crowned in rural Brazil celebrating Our Lady of the Abbey. The procession of Nazarenes from Zipaquira brought a solemn beauty in Colombia.
Newlyweds welcomed the dawn standing before the moai statues on Rapa Nui, as Chile’s Easter Island is also known. Feminists cheered International Women’s Day in Uruguay. Two women beamed after being married in Cuba under the island’s new family code.
And for many in the region, the year closed with raucous good celebrations over Argentina’s World Cup victory over France, including millions who filled the streets of Buenos Aires to welcome the national team home.