MEXICO CITY (HPD) — The Associated Press photographers’ best images of 2022 spoke to the reality of migration, poverty and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean that marked the year, but they showed much more immersing themselves in the intense, vibrant and colorful daily life of the region.
Latin American countries faced growing inequality as a consequence of the post-pandemic global economic crisis, aggravated by the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the midst of the inflationary wave, weather phenomena had an impact on the lives of the peoples of the region. Heavy rains overflowed rivers, causing landslides and burying lives and homes in Venezuela and Ecuador.
The teacher who dries the books at a school in the Cuban province of Pinar del Río affected by Hurricane Ian reflected the spirit of a population too accustomed to drama, and getting up willingly or not.
The violence gave no respite to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, whose inhabitants are victims of clashes between drug gangs and the police. In Haiti, protests are a daily occurrence amid the endless political crisis and clashes between violent gangs that terrorize the population in their fight for territorial control.
In El Salvador, the controversial government push to control gang violence continued. Thousands of families pushed by the economic crisis or violence crossed the jungles, deserts and rivers of the continent. Migrants left their lives looking for better opportunities on the other side of the United States border wall. They lost their dreams and their hopes 51 human beings who were abandoned by the driver of the truck that transported them in Texas and suffocated to death.
Citizen outrage stirred Argentina in March, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico in September and Haiti in October. The Argentines fought for the suffocation that a State indebted to the IMF leaves in the people, the Bolivian coca farmers took to the streets and the mountains due to an economic hardship with no future solution and the Uruguayan women, fed up with being victims of men , of the complicity of the system and impunity, invaded Santiago for International Women’s Day.
Regional poverty rates deteriorated and left-wing politicians won elections in Colombia and Brazil.
In addition, the World Cup returned to Latin America with Argentina’s victory over France on penalties. Millions of people took to the streets of Buenos Aires to celebrate. Due to the number of people who mobilized, it was considered a historic celebration.
Peru experienced the end of the year marked by political instability, after the removal of President Pedro Castillo, after he tried to dissolve Congress.
However, color, joy and traditions were not left out of reality. They wore yellow flowers in honor of the deceased who are part of the tradition on the Day of the Dead, which is commemorated every November 2 in Mexico. The king and queen of Calvacante, in rural Brazil that celebrates Our Lady of the Abbey, were crowned, and the procession of Nazarenes from Zipaquira tinged Colombia with solemn beauty in April.
The 45 best photos of 2022 also recorded the sunrise of some newlyweds in front of the moai statues on Rapa Nui or Easter Island (Chile), the feminist demand for International Women’s Day, in Asunción, and a couple of women who they were able to marry in Cuba with the new Family Code.
They portray intimate moments such as the gaucho who sleeps hugging a cow at the annual exhibition of the Rural Society in Buenos Aires, a Venezuelan family that turned their home into a shelter for injured sloths, and a sixty-year-old horse trainer who boasted his name in the Colombian island of San Andres.
In 2022, Latin America was the scene of a wide variety of realities. And HPD photographers went out every day looking for, wanting to understand, unique moments that record them.