Culture

We Would’ve Liked More But Here Are The Latinos On TIME’s Most Influential of 2017 List

The yearly TIME “100 Most Influential People” list has been released, and as usual, it’s a little light on Latinos for our liking – only about 7 out of the 100 are Latino – even though we compromise an astonishing 55 million of the population in the U.S. as of 2014, according to the U.S. Census.

Among the Latino movers and shakers who made the list are athletes, singers and politicians. The coolest part of the list is that those chosen are written about by their peers, who themselves are influential in their industry.

Here are the 7 Latinos who made it to the list:


1. Demi Lovato, singer and activist, was written up by CEO and founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.

2. Neymar, the international soccer star, had the honor of being written about by fellow footballer, David Beckham.

3. Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chair, was written up by former democratic Vice Presidential candidate, Tim Kane.

4. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, got a write up by Íngrid Betancourt, who survived kidnapping while running for president of Colombia herself in 2002.

Via: CandelaEstéreo / Youtube

Betancourt praised Santos’ ability to find common ground with adversaries by not seeing them as foes or enemies. She says he sees them as just people with whom you could reason and bring in to the conversation, instead of annoyances to be gotten rid of.

“Last year Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Colombian government’s 50-year war with FARC. And while I watched him accept it, I remembered the words he said to me back in 1992. Indeed he had been adding—bringing together friends and enemies to achieve what once seemed impossible: peace. I pray that we in Colombia will live up to his legacy.” Íngrid Betancourt for TIME


5. Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented advocate for immigration reform, was written up by film and TV star, and immigration activist, America Ferrera.

6. Thelma Aldana, Attorney General of Guatemala, was written about by José Carlos Ugaz, an attorney and chair of the anticorruption group Transparency International.

Credit: EL Chikilin y su Marimba Orquesta / Youtube

Ugaz says that Aldana set an example that the world should follow: that elected officials serve the people and corruption shouldn’t be tolerated at any level of government. He discusses how she lead the charge to follow a line of corruption that went all the way up the ladder and got the president impeached and arrested. Maybe the U.S. should consider hiring her. We might know a guy who needs investigating…

“As Attorney General of Guatemala, Aldana uncovered a corrupt network within its customs agency siphoning off millions and involving every level of government… The trail led all the way to President Otto Pérez Molina, who was impeached and arrested and is now facing trial for fraud… Aldana showed that the rule of law can defeat corruption—even when it stretches to the highest office in the land. It’s a lesson every country should remember.” – José Carlos Ugaz for TIME


7. Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista, a Peruvian lawyer and domestic violence activist whose own case of domestic violence encouraged large protests in Peru, was written about by Susanna Schrobsdorff a columnist for TIME.

Credit: Carla Harada / Youtube

“We have to support ourselves, us women, we have to support each other.”

Schrobsdorff tells a harrowing tale of how Bautista’s private life became public after footage of her being dragged by an ex was circulated online. She spoke openly about it after outrage broke out when he was given only a slap on the wrist. Her speaking about it, encouraged others to do the same and to join a movement of anti-violence happening all over South America.

‘Her case—and her willingness to speak publicly about it—helped propel thousands of women onto the streets of Lima that summer to protest gender violence… This was how the women of Peru joined the wider Ni Una Menos (“Not One Less”) movement sweeping across Latin America… a phrase coined by Mexican activist Susana Chávez, who was killed in 2011 after demanding that unsolved murders of women in Juárez be investigated. Over six years on from Chávez’s death, women like Contreras continue to speak out—even when the pursuit of justice can have dire consequences.’ – Susanna Schrobsdorff for TIME


What do you think about the TIME 100 most influential? What Latinos should have made the cut for you?


[H/T] TIME 100: The Most Influential People of 2017

READ: Meet the Young Latinos that are Leaving a Footprint in Politics


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