AP PHOTOS: 2018's best from Latin America and Caribbean

AP PHOTOS: 2018 was a year of mass migration, sprawling corruption scandals, political violence and natural disaster in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mass migration in the Americas captured headlines as more Venezuelans flooded neighboring nations to escape economic collapse at home and Central Americans trekked out of their impoverished and violent homelands toward the U.S.

Those stories provided many of the memorable pictures taken by Associated Press photojournalists covering the news in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018.

Caravans of migrants from Central America bottlenecked roads, waded rivers, toppled border barriers and packed themselves on vehicles as they moved across Mexico, many of them ending up in Tijuana, across from San Diego. Venezuela continued to lose people, in what the U.N. calls the largest exodus in South America's modern history as the country's citizens struggle to eat three meals a day amid widespread shortages and seven-digit inflation.

Inflation is killing the purchasing power of Argentines, too, whose rate of around 45 percent is one of the world's worst, and they are facing an austerity budget in the coming year.

The corruption conviction of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was Latin America's highest profile political arrest amid multiple corruption scandals.

The Volcano of Fire suffocated Guatemalan towns, killing almost 200 people and leaving a similar number missing. In Brazil, a fire gutted one of the world's oldest museums in Rio de Janeiro, destroying much of its 20 million-piece collection.

Nicaraguans tired of President Daniel Ortega rose up last spring demanding that he resign while using some of the same makeshift mortars that his rebels wielded when ousting the Somoza family dictatorship in the late 1970s, but police and armed pro-government groups eventually squashed the protest movement, with at least 320 people killed.

Violent protests also rocked Haiti after the government announced a 50 percent hike in gas prices in July and officials backed down, but demonstrators continue to be in the streets and are now calling for the president's resignation.

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Online:

AP's top photos for 2018 from Latin America and the Caribbean: https://apimagesblog.com/blog/2018/12/19/the-year-in-photos-latin-america-and-caribbean

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Curated by photo editor Leslie Mazoch based in Mexico City. On twitter: @LeslieMazoch