The World Cup was the focus of photo coverage by The Associated Press in Latin America last week as the soccer tournament of big surprises is turning into a sweet samba party for teams and their fans from the Americas.
Having already stunned one former world champion, little Costa Rica shocked another last week and sent a third one home. Two European powers — Spain and England — were put out of contention after just two games. For teams from the Americas, their record through the weekend against nations from other regions: played 14, lost just two.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff also had reason to celebrate last week.
Santos convincingly won re-election in a runoff against right-wing challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga to start the week. It was Colombia's tightest and nastiest presidential contest in years. Some saw Santos' victory as an endorsement of his 18-month-old peace talks to end the Western Hemisphere's longest-running conflict.
Over the weekend, Brazil's governing Workers Party formalized President Dilma Rousseff's bid for re-election by making her its candidate in the Oct. 5 national ballot. Even though opinion polls have consistently given the 66-year-old leader a strong lead over her closest challenger, a tough race is expected.
Rare and fragile pre-Inca textiles were returned to Peru some 80 years after they were smuggled out by a diplomat. Swedish consul Sven Karell had secreted them away after they were discovered in the Paracas Peninsula, a desert south of Lima where the extremely dry climate helped protect the alpaca wool fibers that are thousands of years old. "Across the world, the discoveries of textiles of this age are much rarer than any precious metal," said Krzysztof Makowski, a University of Warsaw archaeologist.
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