A demonstrator taking part in a protest against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff in Rio this month. This latest police operation highlights the increasing confidence of anticorruption authorities in Brazil to tackle the problem but also the entrenched nature of graft in Brazil. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Investigators claim officials took bribes to provide favourable tax-dispute rulings

Demonstrators attend a protest against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo last week. Photograph: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Hundreds of thousands take to streets demanding end to Workers Party corruption

Michael Connery and his Argentina Gaelic football team

A GAA player in Argentina: Michael Connery

Brazil Independence day at University of Limerick

More young Brazilians are arriving in Ireland to study science at third level, drawn by instruction in English and our location in(...)

Brazil’s President Dilma Roussef has become more isolated than ever in the presidential palace. Photograph: Carlos Pazos/Reuters

Plunging popularity, corruption claims and policy drift spell trouble for Brazil’s leader

 Mario Tadic (second left) and Elod Toaso (second right), at their trial, in La Paz, Bolivia. Photograph: Martin Alipaz/EPA

Two men arrested in police raid that killed Irishman plead guilty in plea bargain

A group of prosecutors and judiciary workers lead a march under heavy rain in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to pay tribute to  prosecutor Alberto Nisman a month after his  death in mysterious circumstances. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

Up to 400,000 gather in Buenos Aires for ‘March of Silence’ held in torrential rain

The charges against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner are the latest developments in a political crisis in Argentina. Photograph: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Formal charges come weeks after mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman

An outsourced worker who was contracted to work for Petrobras holds a placard that reads: ‘Petrobras has only thief’ as he marches with others on Rio-Niteroi bridge to Petrobras’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro during a protest this week against recent layoffs. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Aldemir Bendine, seen as faithful servant of President Rousseff, faces credibility struggle

American Task Force Argentina details how officials experienced ‘dramatic and often unexplained increases in personal welath

Petrobras president Aldemir Bendine: markets reacted negatively to news that a loyal lieutenant of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was being handed the job. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

Controversial head of state bank appointed to Brazilian oil giant

With the help of readers, ‘The Irish Times’ is on the hunt for the best Irish pub outside Ireland. Which would you nominate, and w(...)

Argentine president Cristina Kirchner waves to  children as Chinese president Xi Jinping accompanies her during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China,  on February 4th, 2015. Photograph: Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images

Late prosecutor’s arrest warrant for Argentina president to be scrutinised

Petrobas CEO Maria das Graças Foster who, along with five other managers, has resigned.

Five other managers go as fallout from corruption scandal at Latin America’s biggest company continues

A woman holds up an image of Alberto Nisman at his funeral in Buenos Aires. The Argentinian public prosecutor died in mysterious circumstances the day before he was to testify about allegations against the president. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Alberto Nisman’s death exposes ferocious nature of Argentina’s political disputes

Auguste Comte: His positivist philosophy looks to science to understand the workings of society. Photograph: Prisma/UIG/Getty Images

Influencing even the flag , the Religion of Humanity is seeking funds for restoration

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff: during the campaign she claimed her opponents would inflict austerity on Brazilians if she lost, but since her victory, she has accepted that spending cuts will have to be made, subsidies to consumers unwound and interest rates raised.  Photograph: Joedson Alves/Reuters

Brazilian president tacks party to left during deeply polarising election campaign

Demonstrators march in Sao Paulo against corruption and the government of president Dilma Rousseff. Photograph: Bosco Martin/EPA

Investigation into state-run oil giant has rocked the country with president even in the spotlight

Cubans queue to apply for tourist visas to visit the US at the American Interests Building in Havana. Photograph: Meredith Kohut/New York Times

This week, Barack Obama announced the US would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, but it’s actually America that’s coming in (...)

Michael Lynne: being held in a prison in the city of Recife. Photograph:  Garrett White/Collins

Former solicitor to face charges relating to the collapse of his property empire in 2007

Michael Lynn who  fled from Ireland in October 2007 with debts of €80 million. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

A judge in Brazil is expected to give ruling on Irish Government request to send him back

Tabaré Vázquez waves a Uruguayan flag to celebrate his victory in the country’s presidential election. His victory follows those in recent weeks for fellow leftists Evo Morales in Bolivia and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. Photograph: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Broad Front win in Uruguay confirms appeal of left-wing rule despite economic slowdown

A young fan of presidential candidate for the ruling Broad Front party, Tabaré Vázquez, at a  campaign rally for the movement in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photograph: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Popular coalition saw economy quadruple in size over past decade

An anti-government demonstration in   Sao Paulo recently. Photograph: EPA/Aaron Cadena Ovalle

Rousseff made great political capital by attacking the elite but may need to reach out to them to overcome recession

Brazil fighting entrenched legacy of racism on Black Consciousness Day

DOM’s kitchen  in São Paulo. DOM is the city’s perennial representative in lists of the world’s top 10 restaurants. Photograph:  Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Fanatical following for food expert who rips into poor restaurant fare

Street vendors protesting against a 20 per cent increase in the cost of water yell at riot police in 2000, in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Photograph: Gonzalo Espinoza/AFP/Getty Images

South American country found itself in need of aid from IMF and World Bank

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff with predecessor  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In her last term she lacked his authority when it came to forging the  deals  for getting her agenda through congress. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

Brazil’s president may find reform hard to achieve in her second term

Dilma Rousseff celebrates victory with her mentor Lula da Silva, who campaigned tirelessly for her election. Photograph: AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

President may tackle corruption by switching to public financing of political campaigns

Brazil’s president and Workers’ Party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff greets her supporters at a rally near Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. Rousseff is ahead in polls. Photograph: Ricardo Morae/Reuter

Incumbent finishes strongly in Brazilian election marked by strongly negative campaign

Brazil’s presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (left) and Aécio Neves of the Social Democratic Party after their television debate this week. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Debate devoid of effort to focus on concerns of voters

Dubious alliances: Brazil’s president and candidate for re-election Dilma Rousseff greets supporters in Teresina, Piaui, on Wednesday. Photograph: Ichiro Guerra/EPA

Without meaningful reform, the ‘criminalisation of politics’ continues

Brazilian Social Democracy Party presidential candidate Aecio Neves: spectacular political resurrection. Photograph: AP Photo/Eugenio Savio

Anti-establishment Silva fails to live up to early promise

Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Roussef (left) and Marina Silva before their final campaign debate on TV Globo in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Rousseff and Silva, proteges of former leader Lula, face off in three-person presidential race

Jovita Rosa in front of Brazil’s congress building in Brasília: ‘In Brazil it is not the lack of money that explains poor public services but corruption, and corruption flourishes because hidden business interests do not want public services to work.’ Photograph: Tom Hennigan

Anti-corruption candidate Jovita Rosa, while popular, is unlikely to win political office

Brazilian presidential candidate Aécio Neves at a campaign rally in Rio de Janeiro. “If I win the elections it is going to be very good for Brazil . . . But if I don’t win, and this could happen, it is going to be very good for me from a personal point of view.” Photograph: Antonio Lacerda/EPA

Presidential candidate Aécio Neves in danger of finishing third

Left behind: Caroline Dwyer and her daughter Aisling in room 457 of Hotel las Americas, in Santa Cruz. Photograph: Julien Behal/Phoenix Films

More than five years after he was shot dead by police, Irishman’s mother and sister visit Bolivia to find out more about how and(...)

 Michael Dwyer: two former officials have apologised to the family.

Irish man’s mother and sister talk to men who were with him on the night he was shot

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff: admitted in a televised debate that while “it might seem I am satisfied with things, I am not
”. Photograph: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Workers Party must convince public they are better off after four years of Dilma

Michael Dwyer: an elite police unit stormed the hotel  in which he was staying   on April 16th, 2009. Mr Dwyer and two others were shot dead in the raid. Photograph: PA Wire

Five-day visit to Bolivia part of family’s campaign for independent international inquiry into Dwyer’s death

Marina Silva, Brazilian presidential candidate and former senator, been able to articulate a vision of a more just society, one that has resonated widely. Photograph: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Death of Eduardo Campos transformed campaign ahead of October vote

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner: denies the country re-entered default last month. Photograph: EPA/David Fernandez

Plan will force bondholders to choose between US legal limbo or Argentinian jurisdiction

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner: accused printing group RR Donnelley  of collaborating with bondholders. Photograph: Jorge Adorno/Reuters

Argentina moves to prosecute company under anti-terrorist laws for shutting down operation

The recent Mercosur summit in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: EPA

There is concern that a deal with Mercosur could hit Ireland’s beef sector

Estela de Carlotto with her grandson Guido Montoya Carlotto: “We must keep searching for those missing because other grandmothers have to feel what I feel.” Photograph: Florencia Downes/EPA

The legacy of the Dirty War lives on as the search for stolen children continues

A fan of Argentina’s San Lorenzo dressed as Pope Francis cheers for the team in a recent  match  in La Paz, Photograph: Gaston Brito/Reuters

San Lorenzo is poised to win its biggest trophy and finally return home

Supporters of Argentinean president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner protest against hedge funds in Buenos Aires last week. Photograph: EPA/David Fernándezs

Banks including HSBC and Citi in talks to buy bonds in hands of ‘holdout’ investors

Paul Singer: To his enemies he is one of capitalism’s vultures who swoops down to feed off the weak.

When everyone is stampeding for the exits, Paul Singer steps in and buys up the debt

People listen as Axel Kicillof, economy minister for Argentina, not pictured, speaks about the country’s missed bond payment.   Photograph: Diego Levy/Bloomberg

Below the often tranquil surface in Buenos Aires, cracks are beginning to appear

An obelisk stands  in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina will default on its debt within hours after talks with holdout creditors broke down last night. Photo: Bloomberg

Bank deal collapses, settlement talks in New York end without agreement

Argentina’s economy minister Axel Kicillof arrives at the office of a court-appointed mediator in New York yesterday. Photograph:  Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Standard & Poor’s cuts country’s credit rating to ‘selective default’ before deadline

A woman walks past a graffiti that reads “No to the debt payment” in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

After a decade of legal battles in US courts, Argentina has exhausted legal avenues

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The latest debt crisis is a hangover from the last default 12 years ago

Brazil’s new manager Dunga smiles during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph:  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

New coach needs to impose some of his personal steeliness into a Brazil squad

The Portal del Morumbi camp, in one of the richest areas in Sao Paulo, which is occupied by 4,000 homeless families, supported by the Homeless Workers Movement. The MTST has intensified its protests in Sao Paulo in the last week, having compromised with the Brazilian government for a truce during the World Cup. Photograph: EPA/Sebastião Moreira

São Paulo Letter: the party is over but Brazilians are waiting for promised benefits

Rioters clash with police in Buenos Aires following Argentina’s defeat to Germany in Sunday night’s World Cup Final in Brazil. Photograph. Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Maradona returns fire by bringing up host nation’s 7-1 defeat to Germany

Javier Mascherano  voices his disagreement to referee Nicola Rizzoli during the the  FIFA World Cup final against Germany at the Maracana Stadium in  Rio de Janeiro. Photograph:  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Locals happy to cheer semi-final conquerors Germany as old enemy leave empty-handed

 James Rodriguez of Colombia:  the 22-year-old has a bright and rewarding future ahead of him if this tournament is anything to go by. Photograph:  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

At times I was more stressed than the players, apart from the Brazilians that is

Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) gestures with Jose Maria Marin, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), during a training session of the Brazilian national football team at the squad’s Granja Comary training complex on Friday. Photograph: Getty Images.

Hard to imagine the home crowd getting behind their team against the Netherlands after semi-final humiliation

 Argentinian fans celebrate after the penalty shootout fagainst the  the Netherlands  at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. More fans are making theoir way to Rio for the final.   Photograph: Sebastiao Moreira/EPA

Things could get even worse for the hosts if Lionel Messi and co win on Sunday

Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands in action against Argentina in the World Cup semi-final  at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo. Photograph: Darren Staples / Reuters

Versatile Dutchman was his usual solid self in his final international game

A dejected Brazil fan looks on as her team is thrashed by Germany in the World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Brazil’s media struggles to find right words to express the country’s historic humiliation

Dubliner Diarmuid Crowley is operations director at IMX, the company which is part of the consortium running the Maracana stadium.

Sports business has become pleasure for Diarmuid Crowley as helps run stadiums in Brazil for IMX

A Brazilian fan during the 7-1 semi final defeat to Germany  in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: EPA

Level of expectations make this catastrophic defeat even worse

Argentinian born Real Madrid centre forward Alfredo Di Stefano back heels the ball past the Manchester United goalkeeper, Harry Gregg, at Old Trafford in 1959. Photograph:Keystone/Getty Images

Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain among those to pay homage to former Real Madrid star as Sergio Aguero is passed fit face the Neth(...)

Argentina’s Javier Mascherano lets out a roar after his side’s victory over Belgium in the World Cup quarter-final in Brasilia on Saturday. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Fascinating contrast in emotions of two South American powerhouses ahead of World cup semi-finals

Injured Brazilian national soccer team player Neymar waits to be airlifted home from Brazil’s training camp inTeresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro. Marcelo Regua/Reuters

Brazilian coach Felipão has described the player’s enforced absence from the rest of the World Cup as a “catastrophe” for his side(...)

   Neymar   sustained a back injury following a challenge from Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zuniga  during the World Cup quarter-final match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Pelé’s replacement in 1962 says whoever is picked in No. 10 role must play their own game

Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates after scoring during the penalty shootout against Greece. Photograph: EPA

Tactical battle in prospect as teams seek to recover from energy-sapping contests

Former Brazil captain Dunga has denied  any involvement with businessman Lamine Fofana, who has been arrested by police in Brazil in connection with black market ticket sales at the World Cup. Photograph:  Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Investigators say leader of 30-man gang that made up to €600k per game was member of Fifa

Pit stop: fans pull in for breakfast during the odyssey that is supporting Argentina in the World Cup

The vast majority are ticketless, but devotion is reason enough to pack up and travel

Brazil’s Hulk has yet to find his best form in this World Cup. Photograph: Reuters

Misplaced on the wing, Brazil need the the misfiring Zenit man to step up

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann: “Turns out, Jurgen Klinsmann was correct after all. The US was not ready to win it all. Not even close,” conceded Mike Tierney in the Los Angeles Times

The performances by this side in Brazil have impressed at home and abroad

Angel di Maria celebrates scoring Argentina’s  winning goal against Switzerland. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Critics less than impressed by Argentina as they stumbled into the quarter-finals yesterday

David Luiz gets a hug from Neymar: history teach that should Brazil fail to win the trophy at home, they risk being marked out for decades as the men who failed Brazil. Photograph: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The World Cup is more than just another tournament for Brazil

Argentina’s  Lionel Messi  in action during the  round of 16 match against  Switzerland at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Diego Azubel/EPA

Messi relieved as Argentina clear tricky Swiss hurdle

Swiss players  show their dejection as Argentinian players celebrate their victory after extra-time at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Emilio Lavandeira/EPA

High-wire act survives again as South Americans strike late in extra-time to see off brave Switzerland

 A distraught Mexican fan after their defeat at the hands of the Netherlands  in Fortaleza. Photograph: EPA

Robben pilloried in Mexican press but age old failings also acknowledged

Algeria’s head coach Vahid Halilhodzic : “We have not forgotten about . . . 1982.” Photograph: Ivan Sekretarev/AP.

Underdogs will again look to play tight defensive game against Germans

James Rodriguez of Colombia shoots and scores his team’s first against Uruguay at Maracana . Photograph:  Julian Finney/Getty Images

Two-goal performance displays Rodríguez’ innate talent and precocious leadership

 Brazilian players celebrate with goalkeeper Júlio César  after winning the penalty shoot-out in the  round of 16 match against  Chile at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Dennis Sabangan/EPA

Misfiring on the field, the pressure to perform on home soil is showing

Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz: will pose a big threat in attack with Joel Campbell. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

Central American nation have been the fairytale success of the tournament to date

Uruguay are likely to try to hit Colombia them on the break through their  one remaining world-class player, striker Edinson Cavani (right). Photograph: EPA

Uruguayan coach Óscar Tabárez will be inclined to have Colombia play in front of his team

A woman passes a wall painting of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez on the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph:  Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Maradona rows in behind Suarez on television show

Fans take pictures at the 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia June 23, 2014. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters

Self-proclaimed ‘country of football’ has lost a traditional fan culture

Ecuador’s Michael Arroyo reacts after a missed chance  against France. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Scoreless draw against Ecuador enough to top Group F but performance lacked intensity

Belgium’s Divock Origi is congratulated by teammates Daniel Van Buyten and Axel Witsel after scoring a goal against Russia at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters

Manager ready to experiment in the final group game against South Korea

 Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has been defended by captain and coach. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Uruguayans dismiss accusations against striker suggesting there is nothing to see

France’s  Blaise Matuidi in action against Switzerland during the Group E clash  at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil. Photo:  Christopher Lee/Getty

In-form striker Karim Benzema leading by example for Didier Deschamps’ France with nine goals in eight games

Neymar: “The history of Brazil’s five world titles reveres the figure of the craque. He resolves the most complicated hours, improvises and scores decisive goals.”

Brazil may rarely lose to Chile, but host nation not getting too carried away

Leroy Fer scores  powers home his header against Chile. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay come off bench to score against Chile

Cristiano Ronaldo: “We know it is mathematically doable, but the task is almost impossible.” Photograph: Andres Stapff/Reuters

‘To say Portugal has physical problems is the same as saying Iraq has issues with security’

Memphis Depay: could be rewarded with a start after his goal against Australia.

Chile and Netherlands made light work of progressing to knockout stages

Diego Maradona  and his daughter Giannina  look on during the  World Cup  Group F match against Iran at Estadio Mineirao  in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Former star responds by showing Julio ‘Don’ Grondona the finger on television

Costa Rica players   celebrate after winning their World Cup    match against Italy at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife and qualify from Group D. Photograph:  Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

‘For now the rhythm is Latin, lots of salsa and merengue’

 Lionel Messi during Argentina’s training session at Club Atletico Mineiro in Belo Horizonte yesterday.

“We are Argentina, we should not be concerned with how our rivals play,” he said at a press conference

Uruguay’s  Luis Suarez celebrates during his side’s 2-1 victory over England at the  Arena de Sao Paulo  in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo:  Julian Finney/Getty Images

England’s display mocked as Roy Hodgson’s side left to prepare for early trip home

Uruguay fans salute their hero during the win over England at Arena de Sao Paulo. Photograph:   Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Suarez dominates headlines after killer performance against England

France’s Karim Benzema (left) fights for the ball with Osman Chavez (centre) and Maynor Figueroa of Honduras during their fractious Group E encounter at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Both sides and managements are familiar with each other but no quarter is likely to be given

Chile fans celebrate victory over Spain  at a public screening in Santiago. Photograph: Eliseo Fernandez/Reuters

Last night’s famous win over Spain greeted with elation across South America

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