Neymar  at the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia earlier this month. His star may have dimmed in recent years but  for many  he is still the kid with the  fancy skills who loves to party. Photograph: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

A rape allegation against Brazilian soccer star has led to the demonisation of his accuser

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro (right) continues to back justice minister Sergio Moro despite the Car Wash investigation revelations. File photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

Behaviour of former judge, now minister for justice, and prosecutors called into question

Brazilian justice minister Sergio Moro has sought to downplay the revelations, saying he sees ‘nothing much’ in them. Photograph: Getty

Revelations emerge about Bolsonaro favourite Sérgio Moro’s role in Car Wash inquiry

Protesters on the streets of São Paulo march against the slashing of education funding in Brazil. Photograph: Fabio Vieira/FotoRua/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Weintraub urges public to denounce students and teachers ‘stimulating’ demonstrations

A relative of an inmate reacts in front of a prison complex in the Brazilian state of Amazonas after prisoners were found strangled to death in four separate jails. Photograph: Bruno Kelly/Reuters

Most of the dead apparently strangled in their cells on Sunday and Monday

Supporters of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate along Paulista Avenue in São Paulo on Sunday. Photograph:  Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

President stokes stand-off with Congress after strong turnout for Sunday’s marches

Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro’s relationship with congress  hovers between dire and non-existent. Photgraph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

Brazil leader has only himself to blame for open chatter about possible impeachment

A bus in flames at a protest organised by the National Students Union in Rio de Janeiro: Students and teachers began a nationwide demonstration on Wednesday in “defence of education”. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP

Cuts to Brazil universities for promotion of ‘messing about’ instead of academic issues

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaidó speaks during a press conference at Altamira neighborhood in Caracas. Photograph: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Edgar Zambrano towed away in his car as Venezuelan regime tries to quell uprising

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro attends a ‘march to reaffirm the absolute loyalty’ of the Venezuelan army. Photograph: HO/PresidencyGetty

Trump administration’s hawkish stance and Russian reaction ratchet up political pressure

A supporter of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro displays a picture of late leader Hugo Chavez during a rally on May Day in Caracas. Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Regime has faced down the latest challenge to its authority but there are likely to be more

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaidó (L) and  Leopoldo Lopez, greet supporters after being joined by members of the Bolivarian National Guard to oust Maduro, in Caracas,  April 30th. Photograph:  Cristian Hernandez /AFP/Getty

Guaidó’s appearance with soldiers sparks mass mobilisation of opposition supporters

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro,  vice-president Hamilton Mourão (left) and army commander Edson Pujol at a ceremony to mark Army Day, in Brasília earlier this month. File photograph: Getty

Former astrologer holds sway among president’s sons in campaign to vilify vice-president

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and  of military college students during a downpour as they attend a ceremony to mark Army Day, in Brasilia on Wednesday. Photograph: Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Far-right Brazilian president’s relationship with Congress suffers rapid deterioration

Michael Dwyer: The Bolivian state’s version of what happened leading up to and during the police raid in which Dwyer was killed has been contradicted by eyewitnesses and leaked video from inside the investigation.

Investigation into death of Michael Dwyer in police raid held up by ‘farcical’ related trial

 Sally O’Neill pictured at Áras An Uachtarain in March 2015 with President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins. Photograph: Maxwell’s

‘We are heartbroken by this news. Sally was the heartbeat of Trócaire for almost 40 years’

Supporters of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attend a vigil outside the federal police offices in Curitiba, Brazil on August 31st, 2018. Photograph: Rodolfo Buhrer

Continuing vigil marks deep loyalty to former Brazil president after first year in jail

 There is tension between the military wing of the new administration and Brazil’s president  Jair Bolsonaro (pictured).  Photograph:  Fernando Souza / AFP

Build-up to the date has been the most turbulent in years under president Jair Bolsonaro

People cross from Cucuta in Colombia back to San Antonio del Tachira in Venezuela after buying goods to resell, through an improvised bridge on  an illegal trail on the border between the two countries.  Photograph: Juan Pablo Bayona/AFP/Getty Images

South America’s principle international organisation is undergoing its death rattle

 Brazil’s then President Michel Temer gives a speech in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, on December 21st last. Photograph:  Andres Cristaldo/EPA

Judge describes as ‘convincing’ prosecutors’ case that Temer leads criminal organisation

Opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó said the opposition-controlled national assembly would organise freedom committees in every street to mobilise supporters to descend on the Miraflores palace in Caracas. Photograph: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty

Venezuela’s opposition leader issues rallying cry in bid to take presidential palace

Locals collect water from an underground water main pipeline in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Hunt for saboteurs as much about galvanising regime as swerving responsibility

 Ronnie Lessa (left) and Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, two former police officers now under arrest as suspects in the 2018 execution of a Rio de Janeiro councilwoman. Photograph: Rio De Janeiro Police via The New York Times

City council member Marielle Franco was shot four times in 2018

Venezuelan Elvia Helena Lozano with  a kerosene lamp  at her home in Caracas during the mass power outage. Photograph: Cristian Hernandez/AFP/Getty Images

Hospitals struggle to keep patients alive in power cut, as citizens wash in drains

An effigy of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro traverses streets during the carnival procession in Loulé, Portugal. Photograph: Luis Forra/EPA

Jair Bolsonaro denounced for uploading video of carnival revellers at street party

 Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó speaks at a press event in Salinas, Ecuador. Photograph: Wladimir Torres/EPA

Juan Guaidó to defy authorities following tour of South American neighbours

Juan Guaidó and his wife Fabiana Rosales arrive at the EU delegation office in Brasília on Thursday. Photograph: Andre Coelho/Bloomberg

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó visits Brazil but there is little appetite for military action

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro:  at a time when he is supposed to be enjoying his political honeymoon, his authority is already visibly diminished. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

São Paulo Letter: Far-right president’s first weeks in office marked by chaos and crisis

Opposition supporters unload humanitarian aid from a truck that was set on fire after clashes between opposition supporters and Venezuela’s security forces at Francisco de Paula Santander bridge on the border  between Colombia and Venezuela. Photograph: Reuters/Marco Bello

Efforts to bring supplies into country frustrated as military refuses to let convoys in

A tanker truck blocks the Tienditas bridge in Urena, Venezuela, on the border with Colombia, on February 20th, 2019. Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP

Elevated fear of armed clash as US steadfast in backing Guaidó against Maduro and Cuba

Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for Venezuela arrive at the Tienditas Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Tachira, Venezuela. Photograph:  Luis Robayo/AFP

Venezuelan president denies humanitarian crisis as shipment arrives on Colombian border

A Venezuelan woman prays on a soccer field on the outskirts of Cúcuta, on the Colombian side of the Venezuelan border. Photograph: Edgard Garrido

Decrepit refineries and illegal exports create shortages amid US sanctions over Maduro

Venezuelan migrants wait for food outside La Divina Pastora shelter in Villa del Rosario, Colombia, at the border with Venezuela, on February 13th, 2019. Photograph:  Luis Robayo

Few Cuban doctors obtained under Chavez deal left amid medic and drug shortage

Venezuelans wait for a free lunch at a migrant shelter on the outskirts of Cúcuta, on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Vatican letter published in Italy says Venezuela’s president did not live up to past commitments

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country’s rightful interim ruler. PhotographL Reuters/Manaure Quintero

President Nicolás Maduro is refusing to let food and medicines shipment into the country

Venezuelan migrants climb on a truck on the road from Cúcuta to Pamplona in  Colombia as humanitarian aid is blocked from entering the country. Photograph: Raul Arboleda/AFP

With rampant inflation and food shortages, starving Venezuelans flee for sustenance

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaidó speaks to journalists after attending Mass in Caracas on Sunday. Photograph: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

US aid will be ‘first advance’ of humanitarian effort, opposition leader says

The Colombian-Venezuelan border in Cúcuta, Colombia. “There is a lot more military activity now on the Venezuelan side of the border,” says Abel López, who has a ringside view of the standoff from the rice farm he manages.  Photograph:   Marco Bello/Reuters

Flashpoint at Colombian river crossing is posing a dilemma for Venezuelan military

People cross the bridge on the border between Táchira in Venezuela and Cúcuta in Colombia. Photograph: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

Embattled president Maduro backs EU-chaired initiative but opposition rejects it

Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaidó (C)  in Caracas. Photograph:  Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Rival for presidency, Guaidó, says 300,000 will die if aid does not reach them ‘urgently’

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó waves to supporters at a rally against President Nicolás Maduro’s government in Caracas. Photograph: Carlos Barria

Rallies support incumbent and rival Guaidó, as Venezuela’s army backing may be on wane

  A mosaic depicting the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (left) and Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro on a wall in Caracas. Photograph: Getty Images

In the absence of dialogue all eyes remain on a military that is both compromised and discontent

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro:  the former army captain is learning that shooting from the hip can call down problems on his nascent administration. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

President has had a tough first month in office, and faces more challenges ahead

People wait hours to purchase  butter and pasta in Caracas as Juan Guaidó argues the presidency became technically vacant after Nicolás Maduro was sworn in  after an election widely seen as rigged. Photograph: Meridith Kohut/ New York Times

Blow to struggling oil industry may make Venezuela look to China and Russia for aid

An aerial view over mud and waste from the disaster caused by dam spill in Brumadinho. Photogrpah: EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Chief prosecutor says there are ‘culprits’ in mining-dam rupture that killed at least 37

Opposition leader of Venezuela Juan Guaidó: many senior army officers are implicated in drug trafficking and other criminal activities and are thought to be nervous about regime change.  Photograph:  Getty

Hunger and disease loom as neighbouring countries lose patience with Maduro regime

Embattled  Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro speaks  to members of  the Venezuelan armed forces  during a ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, earlier this month. File photograph: Cristian Hernandez/EPA

Venezuela’s economy in ruins after disastrous experiment in Chávez’s ‘21st Century Socialism’

Supporters of far-right presidential winner   Jair Bolsonaro: disappointment seems almost inevitable. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel

Disaffected populace has propelled unproven far-right crank to key position of president

Supporters of Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro celebrate his victory at the Paulista Avenue, in Sao Paulo. Photograph: EPA/Fernando Bizerra

Rights groups warn against a rollback of civil liberties after far-right candidate’s victory

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, far-right presidential candidate. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro still clear frontrunner but his advantage has slipped

Fernando Haddad, presidential candidate of Brazil’s leftist Workers’ Party. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

Controversial favourite’s traction among key evangelical cohort seems to be slipping

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right presidential candidate, shout slogans during a demonstration in Sao Paulo, Brazil, over the weekend. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

Jair Bolsonaro battles fresh claims as video emerges of his son threatening supreme court

Supporters of Brazilian right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro with a giant inflatable doll known as “Pixuleco”, representing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with a mask of presidential candidate Fernando Haddad, in Sao Paulo. Photograph: Getty Images

Race for presidency slides into legal rancour with potential to erode legitimacy of winner

Brazil’s right-wing presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL) Jair Bolsonaro: party increased its share of vote by 1,341 per cent . Photograph: Mauro Pimentel

Political polarisation deepens with newcomers comprising more than half chamber

Jair Bolsonaro, who is recovering at home in Rio de Janeiro following his near-fatal stabbing at a campaign rally last month.  Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Opponent Haddad’s campaign strategy suffers as debate vetoed due to Bolsonaro’s health

Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate of the Social Liberal Party, after casting his vote in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Politician known for misogyny, racism and homophobia in strong position for run-off

Brazilian presidential candidate for the Workers’ Party (PT) Fernando Haddad speaks to the press during a campaign rally in Belo Horizonte,  on Friday. Photograph: Getty Images

First round of Brazil presidential elections on Sunday

Street protest in  Sao Paulo against Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right presidential candidate. Photograph: Victor Moriyama/Getty

Far-right presidential candidate opposed by women’s rights, gay and anti-racist groups

A supporter holds a mask of Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a campaign rally for  presidential candidate Fernando Haddad in Porto Alegre. Photograph:  Diego Vara/Reuters

Election candidate Márlon Reis conducts his ‘clean slate’ campaign from a pick-up truck

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. Many in Brazil have no doubt about the threat a Bolsonaro presidency would represent to the country’s democratic institutions. Photograph:  Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Despite a poor record, candidate is far right’s best-ever chance of winning a presidential election

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner:  a judge has accused her of heading up a “criminal organisation” during her eight years as president between 2007 and 2015. Photograph: EPA/David Fernandez

Cristina Kirchner delivers statement to judge investigating corruption links

Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva waves from a window of the Metallurgical Union, in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo state, last April. Photograph: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

Former president, currently in prison, will be replaced by running mate Fernando Haddad

Supporters of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attend a vigil outside the Federal Police Superintendence in Curitiba, Brazil. Photograph: Rodolfo Buhrer/Reuters

‘They are all the same. Liars ... we’ve been disillusioned so many times before’

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro carried on the shoulders of a supporter moments before being stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora, Brazil on Thursday. Photograph: Antonio Scorza/Agencia O Globo via AP

Attack on far-right candidate, now well placed to play patriotic victim, presents dilemma to rivals

Knife attack: Jair Bolsonaro grimaces after being stabbed in the stomach on Thursday. Photograph: Raysa Leite/AFP

Alleged assailant said he attacked poll-leading far-right candidate ‘by order of God’

People watch as a fire burns at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 2nd, 2018. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Public fury over official ‘neglect’ after National Museum in Rio destroyed in blaze

A billboard for presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, at Garanhuns, Brazil, taken on  August 3rd, 2018. FIle photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Disinformation used to target voters on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other networks

Brazilian soldiers patrol at Copacabana beach. Photograph:  Carl De Souza /AFP/Getty Images

The famous beach is a social melting pot, but tourists are easily spooked by crime

Supporters of Brazil’s jailed, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rally to support him in Brasilia. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP Photo

Leader in polls is jailed ex-president Lula, who may be blocked from running

Falling over in the box...  a bar in Rio de Janeiro says it will serve a free round of beer during Brazil’s match against Serbia every time Neymar executes what is increasingly his on-field signature – the elaborate tumble at the merest hint of contact. Photograph: Lee Smith/Var Reuters

National hero and national embarrassment rolled into one. Star player is at a crossroads

Brazilian sports minister Leandro Cruz da Silva condemned the fans  involved in the videos:  ‘They are people who are doing a disservice to Brazil.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Brazilian fans sexually insulted Russian women in videos at World Cup

Newly elected Colombian president Ivan Duque celebrates with supporters in Bogota. Photograph: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

Populist Ivan Duque sweeps aside leftist challenger in election run-off

Ivan Duque, the Democratic Center Party candidate for the presidency of Colombia. Mr Duque will compete with Colombia Humana party candidate Gustavo Petro in the second round of elections on Sunday. Photograph: Jhon Jairo Bonilla/EPA

Right-wing senator Ivan Duque, who promises to revisit Farc peace deal, leading in polls

Brazil striker  Neymar  celebrates scoring the winning penalty in the shootout against Germany at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Coach Tite key to ensuring side don't crumble if their superstar becomes unavailable

Argentina’s national soccer team captain Daniel Passarella holds the World Cup trophy on June 25th, 1978, in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Staff/AFP/Getty Images

Four decades ago, military junta welcomed tournament in time of torture and murder

Graffiti related to the Brazilian national football team, striker Neymar and the 2018 World Cup, in  Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Fabio Teixeira/AFP/Getty Images

Bad public administration blamed for 2014 infrastructure improvements still unfinished

Venezuelan president: Nicolás Maduro holds his country’s political constitution after his re-election was announced in Caracas. Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty

US threatens oil sanctions after Pompeo dismisses ‘sham election’

 Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate and evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci speaks to supporters, during his campaign closing rally in Valencia, Venezuela. Photograph: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Government accused of cutting access to subsidised food to those who do not vote for president

Marcello Siciliano  has been accused by an unidentified witness of involvement in activist Marielle Franco’s murder, an allegation he denies. Photograph:  Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty

Marielle Franco was shot four times in the head in crime that shocked Brazil

Farc supporters demonstrate against the arrest of Farc former peace negotiator Jesús Santrich, outside the General Prosecutor’s Office in Medellin, Colombia,  earlier this month. File photograph: Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images

Colombian peace process suffers jolt after Marlon Marín held on trafficking charges

People gather in Lapa neighbourhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during a demonstration marking one month since the murder of activist Marielle Franco. Photograph: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Outspoken activist shot dead in assassination-style killing with four bullets to the head

Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia in 2009. Photograph: PA Wire

Decision by human rights commission to examine killing of Michael Dwyer seen as breakthrough

Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva being lifted by supporters after attending a Catholic Mass in memory of his late wife, Marisa Leticia, in Sao Paulo on  Saturday. Photograph:  Paulo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Arrest marks a dramatic fall for Brazil’s most popular leader in over half a century

Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia in 2009. Photograph: PA Wire

Human rights body signals the country has a case to answer over killing of the Irish man

Supporters of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva hold signs during the supreme court’s sentence ruling in São Bernardo do Campo. Photograph: Patricia Monteiro/Bloomberg

‘Desire to bury corruption’ won out in supreme court decision, prosecutor says

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva greets supporters during a rally in Francisco Beltrao, Parana state, Brazil, on Monday. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

Former Brazilian president says violence reminds him of the emergence of Nazism

Peru’s vice-president Martin Vizcarra: was due to assume office with little popular or political support. Photograph: Guadalupe Pardo/Reuters

Martín Vizcarra’s position at risk as predecessor Kuczynski threatens to resume office

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the murder of Marielle Franco in  Rio de Janeiro last week. Photograph:  Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

São Paulo Letter: The murder of a city councillor in the centre of Rio raises questions about politics and policing

Ivan Duque of the Centro Democratico party is a front-runner in May’s presidential election. Photograph: Reuters/Carlos Julio Martinez

Former guerilla group faced its first electoral test since signing peace deal in 2016

Followers of the political party Farc during the closing of their election campaign, in Fusagasugá, Colombia. Photograph: Felipe Caicedo/Reuters

The former guerrilla movement must win over a hostile electorate in legislative vote

 Former solicitor Michael Lynn arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice after returning to  Ireland from Brazil. He faces 21 charges of alleged theft linked to the collapse of his property business. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Co Mayo native, who has been in Brazil for years, faces 21 charges of alleged theft

Former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attends a campaign rally to launch his presidential candidacy for the upcoming October elections, in São Paulo, Brazil. Photograph: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil’s left is struggling to come up with an election back-up plan amid ex-leader’s woes

Quichua indigenous people work in a field planted with quinoa in Colta, Chimborazo province in the central Ecuadorian Andes highlands, on January 25, 2017. / AFP / RODRIGO BUENDIA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Many are left with the impression that eating quinoa in the wealthy North was robbing food off the table in parts of the Global So(...)

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: his Workers Party has vowed to launch his candidacy regardless of Wednesday’s decision.  Photograph: Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPA

Court decision a major blow to Lula’s efforts to contest presidential elections in October

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: Biggest vote getter for the Workers Party.   Photograph: Patricia Monteiro/Bloomberg

Court ruling against former president may sideline candidate for October election

Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, whose pensions reform plan, already heavily watered down since it was unveiled a year ago, was last week all but abandoned. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

São Paulo Letter: Latest attempt at reform flags despite unsustainability of system

Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, whose administration denied it offered a pardon for jailed former dictator Alberto Fujimori in exchange for votes to save his mandate. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters

The president, accused of involvement in bribery scheme, saved by 21 abstentions

Chilean president-elect Sebastián Piñera greets president Michelle Bachelet upon her arrival at his residence in Santiago. Photograph: Claudio Reyes/AFP/Getty Images

Leader’s re-election four years after leaving office another marker in region’s political shift

 Former president of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner:  elected to the senate in October, which gives her parliamentary immunity from prosecution. Photograph: Simela Pantzartzi/EPA

Net closes around Cristina Kirchner, accused of cover-up in 1994 bombing of Jewish centre

Brazil

Presidents, politics and big business have become embroiled in a scandal that has cost the country over €33bn so far

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