TIME has released their annual 100 Most Influential People list. For the fourteenth year, the magazine has recognized the most prominent pioneers, titans, artists, leaders and icons in the world, including a few notable Latinos. From Demi Lovato to Pope Francis, these are the influential Latinos that made the coveted list this year.
1. Jeanette Vizguerra
Jeanette Vizguerra, who has fought her deportation for the past eight years, has been living in a Denver church since February of this year. The mother-of-four took refuge at the First Unitarian Church in Denver after Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied her request to stay in the country. According to America Ferrera, Vizguerra "came to this country not to rape, murder or sell drugs, but to create a better life for her family. She shed blood, sweat and tears to become a business owner, striving to give her children more opportunities than she had. This is not a crime. This is the American Dream.”
2. Carmen Perez
Carmen Perez was among three other women who made the list for their efforts in the Women's March on Washinton. The activist, who has worked hard to transform the lives of youth of color, also was a co-organzier of International Women's Day, "A Day Without a Woman." According to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Chicana and the other organizers “had the courage to take on something big, important and urgent, and never gave up.” She added, ”Because of their hard work, millions of people got off the sidelines, raised their voices and marched."
3. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is the real deal! At just 24 years old, the singer, songwriter and activist is determined to use her fame to help others. Ariana Huffington wrote an essay on the singer, where she highlighted Lovato's willingness to use her own experience to raise awareness to mental health issues. The businesswoman pointed out, "Demi is using her hard-won wisdom to benefit others. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, instead of hiding it she partnered with Be Vocal, a campaign devoted to getting people to speak up about mental illness and the stigma around it."
The Brazilian heartthrob is kicking his way up to Time’s 100 Most Influential People. At just 25 years old, the athlete helped his country win its first gold Olympic medal in soccer. According to David Beckham, “It's been clear ever since he signed for Brazilian team Santos at 17 that Neymar is an outstanding talent, a once-in-a-generation type of footballer who has fans on their feet whenever he gets the ball.”
5. Tom Perez
This year, 55-year-old civil rights lawyer Tom Perez was elected as the first Latino leader of the Democratic Party. Perez, who served as United States Secretary of Labor from 2013 to 2017, was a key representative in uniting the party during the elections. According to Tim Kaine, “Tom’s the right person to lead the world’s longest-surviving political party during a stress test of our constitutional democracy. And he’s smart enough to see that the key to victory is the passion of everyday people.”
6. Pope Francis
The 80-year-old Pope Francis, who was previously named TIME's Person of the Year in 2013, was among the leaders highlighted by the publication. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, reflected on the Pope’s humility, saying, “Francis has spoken out on the need to welcome refugees amid a global crisis.”
7. Celina Turchi
When the world was facing a global crisis, Turchi knew what to do. The Brazilian doctor reached out to experts from around the world to find a correlation between mosquito bites and birth defects. According to Tom Frieden, "Turchi's studies were part of an emergency investigation that ultimately proved that Zika does indeed cause microcephaly—something many skeptics doubted."
8. Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista
Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista was a victim of assault in Peru. But when video evidence was not enough to condemn her attacker, Bautista began to speak out on the gender-based violence that exists in the country. "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," Susanna Schrobsdroff wrote.
9. Thelma Aldana
The 61-year-old Attorney General of Guatemala uncovered a corrupt network that led to the impeachment of President Otto Pérez Molina. "She worked closely with the U.N.'s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala on the ensuing investigation, known as La Línea (The Line) to identify who among the political and economic elite was involved. The trail led all the way to President Otto Pérez Molina, who was impeached and arrested and is now facing trial for fraud," Jose Carlos Ugaz wrote.
10. Juan Manuel Santos
Since being elected in 2010, the Colombian president has sought to end Latin America’s longest-running war. Although a peace deal signed by Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was defeated by the Colombian people, the 65-year-old was awarded the Noble Peach Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with the left-wing rebels. According to Ingrid Bentancourt, " While Colombia was waging a dire war against the drug cartels, Santos was looking beyond." The former senator, who was kidnapped by the FARC for six years, also added, "Amid death, corruption and political divisions, I remember him saying, 'We need to add, not subtract.'”