AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America, Caribbean

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America, Caribbean
A girl lies surrounded by candles and designs of white powder during a ceremony on Sorte Mountain, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, where followers of indigenous goddess Maria Lionza gather annually in Venezuela's Yaracuy state. Believers congregated for rituals on the remote mountainside where devotees make an annual pilgrimage to pay homage to the goddess, seeking spiritual connection and physical healing. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

This photo gallery highlights some of the top news images made by Associated Press photographers in Latin America and the Caribbean that were published in the past week.

Ecuador’s president signed a decree returning gas prices to traditionally low, subsidized levels a day after striking a deal to cancel a disputed austerity package and end nearly two weeks of protests that paralyzed the Ecuadorian economy and left seven dead.

Thousands trekked to a mountainside in Venezuela for rituals played out with fire, blood and smoke to pay tribute to the indigenous goddess Maria Lionza, who is revered across the crisis-stricken South American nation. The main day is Oct. 12, observed by many Latin Americans as Indigenous People’s Day, but many participants camped in tents among the old-growth forest while dedicating several days to the spiritual ceremonies.

In Haiti, protests over corruption, inflation and scarcity of basic goods continued, with large demonstrations that have shuttered many businesses and schools. The president held a surprise press conference and said he would not resign as he once again urged unity and dialogue.

Hundreds of people rallied as part of an outcry against the perceived creep of restrictions on artistic freedom under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The demonstration was organized by Aquela Cia. de Teatro, whose award-winning play was abruptly halted in September. It’s among at least six programs canceled or suspended by government bodies in the last two months, according to an investigation by federal prosecutors.

Alicia Alonso, the ballerina and choreographer whose nearly 75-year career made her an icon of artistic loyalty to Cuba’s socialist system, died at age 98. As founder and director of the National Ballet of Cuba, Alonso personified the island’s arts program under Fidel Castro’s communist rule and she kept vise-like control over the troupe past her 90th birthday despite being nearly blind for decades.

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Curated by photo editor Anita Baca, in Mexico City. On Twitter: @LatDesk