Things That Matter

We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

Latinos may have given us Hot Cheetos and Zumba Fitness but there are so many more companies, products, and businesses that were created and influenced by Latinos as well.

In fact, a lot of successful American brands and products you love and use on a daily basis were in fact founded by Latinos. From beauty products, clothing brands, and Fortune 100 companies, the influence of Latino’s is endless.

According to a report from Fortune, 73 percent of senior executives in Fortune 500 companies are white. “The rest are 21 percent Asian, 3 percent Latino/a, 2 percent Black, 0.6 percent two or more races, 0.2 percent Native American and 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.”

While there’s still a long way to go in regards to the Latino community earning as much money as their white counterparts and holding positions of power within a company, we’ve rounded up 10 Latinos that have paved the way for future generations to thrive.

Check out these 9 companies and brands you didn’t know were influenced by Latinos.

1. Facebook

CREDIT: Photographer: Nicky Loh for Bloomberg.com, December 6, 2017

Yes, you’re reading that right – Facebook was co-founded by a Latino.

Brazilian born entrepreneur and investor, Eduardo Luiz Saverin is one of the co-founders of Facebook and as of this year, he owns 53 million Facebook shares. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $11.1 billion.

Currently, Saverin lives in Singapore after moving there to become a venture capitalist. He renounced his U.S. citizenship which might have been in part because he wanted to avoid paying taxes.

It’s also been reported that he had gotten into disputes with Mark Zuckerberg over shares of the Facebook company, according to Bloomberg.

All in all, however, we have the successful 36-year-old to thank for bringing us one of the most popular companies and social media networks.

2. Hot Cheetos

CREDIT: Amazon / RPMontanez / Twitter

Of course, this is by far the best invention in the history of the humankind.

Without further ado, the mastermind behind the iconic red bag that has us lickin’ our fingers clean is Richard Montañez. You’ve probably heard this story before, but if you haven’t, here’s a little refresher: he worked as a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant for years before becoming the Executive Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Activation for PepsiCo.

Now, Montañez might finally be able to tell his story on the big screen. We can’t wait to sneak Hot Cheetos into that theatre.

Richard Montañez has an estimated net worth of $14.4 million

3. Instagram

CREDIT: mikeyk / Instagram

Thirty two-year-old, Mike Krieger is a Brazilian entrepreneur and software engineer who co-founded Instagram along with 34-year-old Kevin Systrom.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Kriger moved to California in 2004 and attended Stanford University. That’s where he met Systrom as well. Six years later, the two co-founded one of the fastest-growing mobile apps.

According to Industry Leaders Magazine, within two years of Instagram’s launch, the social media platform was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

Now, Instagram is currently valued at $50 billion.

4. Zumba Fitness

CREDIT: zumbabeto / Instagram

The Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez created the fitness program Zumba in the 1990s. If you’ve never taken a class, you’ve probably heard of someone who’s done Zumba.

The aerobic and dance exercise is accompanied by music from various genres such as hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, tango, flamenco, merengue, and mambo.

Zumba is a high-energy, fun, and kick-ass workout that involves martial arts moves, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

So if you ever want to get some cardio in or simply polish up your dance moves, make sure to book a class ASAP.

5. Shazam

CREDIT: productivelives / shazam / Instagram

From 2010 to 2013, Mexican businessman Carlos Slim was ranked the richest person in the world by Forbes.

Slim is a Mexican business tycoon, engineer, investor and philanthropist. The 78-year-old has derived most of his fortune from his holdings and control in various Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso.

Mexico, however, isn’t where his influence begins or ends.

In July 2013, he invested $40 million in Shazam – the music recognition app – for an undisclosed share.

As of June of this year, Slim has been ranked the seventh-richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

6. Budweiser

CREDIT: corona / Instagram

Ever heard of Anheuser-Busch InBev? It is one of the world’s largest beverage and brewing companies.

If you’ve ever popped open a cold Budweiser, Corona, or Stella Artois then Anheuser-Busch InBev is where these beverages come from.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is based in Belgium but also has locations in São Paulo, New York City, London, Mexico City, and more.

Aside from brewing beverages that are popular in Latino households, one of AB InBev’s investors is Brazilian. Marcel Hermann Telles is a board member of the company and increased their equity by one billion dollars, according to Forbes.

7. Heinz

CREDIT: heinz / Instagram

Born in Brazil, Carlos “Beto” Sicupira is a businessman and a partner in 3G Capital.

Most of his wealth, however, comes from his shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev – the world’s largest brewer – where he owns about 3 percent of stakes.

As a partner of 3G Capital, he also owns and has major stakes in companies and brands like Burger King, H.J. Heinz Company and Lojas Americanas.

8. New York Times

CREDIT: nyccallsyou / productivelives / Instagram

It’s no surprise that one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim, would make this list twice. It’s clear that his influence and mark in successful American brands and companies will continue to be.

The 78-year-old owns stakes in Mexican construction, mining, and real estate companies, and he also owns 17 percent of The New York Times. Mexico’s richest man acquired shares to The New York Times in 2015 and became the largest shareholder of the paper.

As of April of this year, Slim started to sell his New York Times stock and shares which lowered his stake in the company to about 15 percent. That’s still about 24 million in shares. Not too shabby.

9. Amazon

CREDIT: jeffbezos / Instagram

Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos’s net worth is $149.3 billion.

He was also the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of World’s Billionaires.

You might be wondering why he’s on this list since Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas. He was raised by Cuban engineer Miguel Bezos who arrived in Miami in 1962.

Jeff Bezos’s mother remarried Miguel Bezos after divorcing his biological father. Together, they raised the richest person in the world.


READ: Latino Veterans Who Are Changing The Game In Business

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A Bruno Mars Catfish Seduced a Texas Woman Over Instagram and Scammed Her Out of $100k

Entertainment

A Bruno Mars Catfish Seduced a Texas Woman Over Instagram and Scammed Her Out of $100k

When certain fans say that they’d do anything for their favorite celebrity, we usually assume they mean, in a manner of speaking. But in the case of one Bruno Mars fan, that sentiment couldn’t be more serious.

Recently, a 63-year-old Texas woman was swindled out of $100,000 by a catfish pretending to be Bruno Mars.

Yeah, folks. We’re serious. According to Houston authorities, an unnamed Texas woman sent multiple checks to her online lover–whom she believed to be Grammy-award-winning, multi-platinum artist, Bruno Mars.

According to legal documents, the woman created an Instagram page in 2018 in order to find “companionship”. She was soon thereafter contacted by another Instagram user who claimed to be Bruno Mars. The fraudster sent the woman what she believed was ample evidence–multiple texts and photos that “proved” he was on tour.

According to the Texas woman, she believed that her and Mars had “fallen in love” and developed a “meaningful relationship.” According to court documents, the Mars impersonator even promised to quit his 24k tour in order to be with her.

Once Catfish Bruno gained the woman’s trust, he asked her for $100,000 for “tour expenses.” And the woman complied.

First, the Bruno Mars imposter asked her for a $10,000 check via mail. When the woman sent that, the Mars imposter asked for an additional $90,000. The woman wrote that check as well.

The checks were sent to different accounts owned by two men: a man named Chinwendu Azuonwu and his accomplice, Basil Amadi.

It seems that at some point, the woman became aware that she was being scammed and then contacted the authorities. It was then that the police traced the bank accounts back to Azuonwu and Amadi. The men were then arrested and charged with multiple accounts of money laundering.

After the news broke about the Bruno Mars catfish, naturally, the internet had a few questions.

We get that this woman was lonely and in want of companionship, but there’s a line between desperation and delusion.

Many people were caught between pity and disbelief.

We understand that older people aren’t as tech-savvy, but some common sense would’ve told you that a multimillionaire doesn’t need money from a random lady in Texas.

Some people were calling for a deep-dive documentary, MTV “Catfish” style.

Ok, we’d 100% watch this. We want to know how faux-Bruno wooed her, how she convinced herself a rich celebrity needed money, and how she finally became savvy to the scam.

Another question being asked: who has a cool $100k just sitting around?

And how did the scam artists know to target someone so rich?! We hope she the police were able to recover the money, otherwise this woman is going to have a tough retirement.

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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