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Brazilian environmental activist Sônia Guajajara has been chosen as one of the most influential people of the year by TIME magazine. Photo: gettyimages.
Brazilian environmental activist Sônia Guajajara was chosen as one of the most influential people of the year by TIME magazine. Photo: Getty Images.

The most influential Latinos of 2022

TIME magazine published its famous list of the 100 Most Influential People Of The Year, and it includes many Ibero-American figures.

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TIME Magazine's list of the world's most influential people was published this week and it includes several categories, such as Artists, Innovators, Titans, Leaders, Icons, and Pioneers.

Colombia's Ana Cristina González Vélez, doctor and expert in public health and sexual health, and psychologist Cristina Villarreal Velásquez stand out in the Pioneer category. Both women have led a strategy to promote the legalization of abortion in Colombia, despite the influence of religious law.

“They went directly to the place that was the obstacle, the Constitutional Court. They knew the importance of having a broad-based social movement: galvanizing women across the country to wear green scarves and vigorously claim their rights. It is remarkable what they did. It gives us hope for the future of access in America,” wrote Ailbhe Smyth, an activist with Together For Yes, a coalition of social movements seeking to repeal Ireland's abortion ban.

Another Latin American on TIME's 100 Most Influential People list is Brazilian environmental activist Sônia Guajajara. She became the first Indigenous woman to run for the presidency of her country in 2018.

“From an early age, she fought forces that have been trying to exterminate her community’s roots for over 500 years. Sonia resisted and she continues to resist today: against machismo, against the massacre of Indigenous peoples, and against neoliberalism. Today, as executive coordinator of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, Sônia Guajajara is on the front line of the fight against the Bolsonaro government’s attempt to destroy Indigenous lands,” wrote Guilherme Boulos, coordinator of the Brazilian Homeless Workers' Movement.

When it comes to political figures, TIME did not forget Gabriel Boric, a 36-year-old Chilean who became the youngest president in the history of his country in 2022.

"The victory of the former student leader represented a changing of the guard, but more More importantly, it marked a change of direction for Chile's economy. Boric's approach combines fiscal responsibility with a more competitive economy, better social protections and working conditions, social equality and inclusion, and environmental protection," wrote Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at Columbia University.

TIME magazine also included Colombian businessman and philanthropist David Vélez, 40, as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Ariana DeBosé, who in 2022 became the first queer Afro-Latina actress to win an Oscar for her role as Anita in West Side Story.

For Spain, the major name was tennis player Rafael Nadal. The seven-time NFL champion Tom Brady reflected on the Spanish icon, and valued the "mental and physical strength" of the Majorcan "to do what all great athletes do — play their best in the most important moments. There's something to be learned from watching his determination, his strategy, everything that it takes to never take any moment for granted. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in all of sports,” Brady noted.

TIME Magazine's Most Influential People list has been compiled every year since 1999.

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