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.
Officials acknowledged they disappeared at the hands of a corrupt local government and federal authorities took 10 days to intervene.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Venezuelans protesting crime, inflation and widespread shortages staged protests that left more than 40 people dead and landed their leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail.
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.
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.
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.
See full collection of Best Photos of 2014 from Latin America and the Caribbean
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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Nat Castañeda is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. A California native, Castañeda works primarily in video and collage, with an emphasis on tactile intimacy with her materials remaining an important aspect of all her projects. Common issues in Castañeda’s work are the conflating of iconography and pornography, the questioning of traditional gender binaries, and the role of technology within personal narratives. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and has shown at venues such as El Museo del Barrio and Electronic Arts Intermix. In addition to her art practice, Castañeda currently works at The Associated Press where she leads a team that curates AP's online archive of historic and contemporary photojournalism. Castañeda’s photography has appeared in the New York Times,U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.