9 Latinos in TIME Magazine´s 2012 list of 100 most influential people

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TIME Magazine has released its annual list of the 100 most influential people, and for the first time, the majority of the list is non-white. And nine of the top 100 are Latino.

The magazine calls the list members “the breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons” who “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.”

We are living “in a transformative period in which leadership and influence emerge in unlikely places,” says Time. Maybe that´s why 54 of the chosen ones are not gringos.

Another piece of good news is that there are 38 women on the list, many more than in previous years, including sisters Kate and Pippa Middleton, Rihanna, Viola Davis or Angela Merkel.

Let´s have a look at TIME Magazine´s favorite Latinos and the reasons why they made the list.

  • #7: Louis C.K. (44). The half-Mexican comedian, writer, director, executive producer and editor (on a Mac laptop) of his own sitcom for FX is an example of “what a person can do on his own with technology and sheer talent” by selling his comedy show onlinefor $5. Smart guy!

    (From L to R) #7: Louis C.K. (44), #9: Marco Rubio (40), #70: Juan Manuel Santos (60), #82: Dilma Rousseff (65), #58: Eike Batista (58), #75: Maria das Graças Silva Foster (58), #21: José Andrés (42), #23: Dulce Matuz (27) and #86: Lionel Messi (24).

  • #9: Marco Rubio (40). The Cuban-American senator is described by Time Magazine as “a shrewd and dynamic campaigner” who, if chosen to be the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, may find that his biggest challenge is that he outshines the presidential nominee. And he still finds time to write his memoirs documenting his political career. Wow.
  • #21: José Andrés (42). The Spanish chef and activist is the owner of several restaurants in Washington (Jaleo, Minibar), Los Angeles (Bazaar) and Las Vegas, he showed the world what a real Spanish tapa is. But he´s also been recognized for his collaboration with DC Central Kitchen, which “fights hunger and poverty by teaching culinary job skills” to vulnerable people, and led him to establish World Central Kitchen, an international factory finding creative solutions to fight against world hunger.
  • #23: Dulce Matuz (27). The president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition is recognized for her advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants. As actress and supporter Eva Longoria writes, she “represents the finest of her generation. An undocumented Latina confronted with legal barriers to pursuing her engineering dream, she chose to fight for the right to contribute to the country she has called home since she was young.” What a brave girl, ¡sí señor!
  • #58: Eike Batista (58). This Brazilian businessman and self-made billionaire is recognized for his crucial role in the Brazilian economic boom. Time Magazine says, “He’s rare among Latin America’s notoriously uncivic-minded superrich in that he makes a point of giving back to his nation, especially his adopted city of Rio de Janeiro, which he helped to snare the 2016 Olympics.” An altruistic spirit.
  • #70: Juan Manuel Santos (60). The Colombian president is “the first Latin American head of state to come out for a more open discussion on drug legalization” and “a demonstration that even conservative Latin leaders can adopt a third-way mix of socialism and capitalism.”
  • #75: Maria das Graças Silva Foster (58). This Brazilian is the first female CEO of Petrobras (Brazil’s oil company) and the first woman to run a major oil company anywhere. Not bad for a woman who grew up in a working-class favela on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and collected recyclable cans and paper to help pay for school.
  • #82: Dilma Rousseff (65). In speaking of Brazil’s woman president, another Latina president, Argentinian Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, highlights their common experiences: “The drive that comes from our immigrant heritage, youthful activism and militancy and the challenges faced by women as they try to grow in a space dominated by men. And we agree that social inequality is the greatest problem facing our countries.” Strong ladies indeed.
  • #86: Lionel Messi (24). The Argentinian fútbol player is breaking all records. Barcelona’s all-time top scorer is also the first player in history to score five goals in a Champions League match. He is, for many, currently the greatest footballer and one of the greatest of all time – oh, and possibly a new papi soon.

Read the whole list in TIME magazine.

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