Today, Time released its annual list of the 100 most influential people around the world. Divided into five sections – pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and icons – the list includes people making a difference. This year there is nearly as many women as men on the list.
“Our goal is to spotlight the progress these individuals are making and encourage collaboration toward a better world,” wrote Edward Felsenthal in a post explaining how the magazine made its picks this year.
While there are plenty of inspirational people on the list, there are also some controversial ones. Below, we have rounded up all of the Latinos and Latin Americans featured on Time‘s list in 2019.
Leaders: Andrés Manuel López Obrador
When AMLO was elected in 2018, he signaled hope for many. AMLO, who doesn’t live in Los Pinos (the presidential mansion) and travels in economy class, attracted voters with his messages against corruption. But he’s received his fair share of criticism for the way he makes decisions and governs.
“AMLO likes to think of himself in big, historical terms. He defined his government as the ‘Fourth Transformation’ (after independence from Spain, the reform period and the Mexican revolution).,” journalist Jorge Ramos wrote. “But his full control of the Congress and his very personal style of making decisions have raised flags among those who don’t want another authoritarian populist.”
Leaders: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress. Since before she was elected, AOC has received heavy criticism from conservatives. “Her commitment to putting power in the hands of the people is forged in fire,” Elizabeth Warren wrote. Coming from a family in crisis and graduating from school with a mountain of debt, she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like.”
Pioneers: Indya Moore
Indya Moore, one of the stars of trailblazing series Pose, is a trans woman who grew up in foster care in the Bronx. “In Indya, I see elements of our foremothers: the beauty of Sir Lady Java and Tracey Africa Norman, the brazenness of Miss Major and Sylvia Rivera, and the indelible warmth and spirit of Marsha P. Johnson,” Janet Mock wrote. “She is the living embodiment of our wildest dreams finally coming true.”
Leaders: Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro is the right-wing president of Brazil. His anti-LGBTQ, anti-women, anti-Black comments have earned him a lot of criticism.
“Jair Bolsonaro is a complex character,” Ian Bremmer wrote. “After three months as Brazil’s President, he represents a sharp break with a decade of high-level corruption, and Brazil’s best chance in a generation to enact economic reforms that can tame rising debt. The former army officer is also a poster boy for toxic masculinity, an ultraconservative homophobe intent on waging a culture war and perhaps reversing Brazil’s progress on tackling climate change.”
Leaders: Juan Guaidó
While some accuse opposition leader and interim Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó of being a US-imposed politician set to topple Nicolás Maduro’s government, the young man has also received the support of many countries across the world.
“Young, energetic, articulate, determined, he has demonstrated possession of the mother of all virtues: courage,” Juan Manuel Santos wrote. “By being in the right place at the right time, he was able to finally unite the opposition and become a beacon of hope for a country that is yearning for a rapid and peaceful change.”
Artists: Luchita Hurtado
Despite working for about seven decades, Luchita Hurtado, a Venezuela-born visual artist, has only been in the spotlight for a short amount of time. This summer’s exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries will be the first retrospective of Hurtado’s work.
“Now, at the age of 98, Luchita is finally getting the attention she has long deserved,” Glenn Close wrote.
“Her vision of the human body as a part of the world, not separate from nature, is more urgent today than ever. Luchita’s masterly oeuvre offers an extraordinary perspective that focuses attention on the edges of our bodies and the language that we use to bridge the gap between ourselves and others. By coupling intimate gestures of the body with expansive views of the sky and the earth, Luchita maps a visceral connective tissue between us all.”
Icons: Mirian G
Mirian G is one of the many Central American families separated at the border by President Donald Trump’s policy. Mirian (who uses a pseudonym for her safety) has become one of the loudest voices on family separations.
“Mirian could’ve stayed quiet. Instead, she joined a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of all the separated families, wrote about her experience for CNN, and allowed me and other public figures to help amplify her story in a video for the ACLU,” Kumail Nanjiani wrote. “By speaking out, Mirian drew national attention to families without voices, and the ACLU lawsuit resulted in a federal judge issuing an injunction to reunify separated families.”
Ozuna has had a few years of phenomenal success. Daddy Yankee has seen him grow in that time. “I still clearly remember the chamaquito who came to my recording studio to ask me to be on a remix to his song ‘No Quiere Enamorarse,'” Daddy Yankee wrote. “His name was Ozuna, and what got my attention was his tenacity, his sublime and unique voice, and his drive. He was fearless to ask a superstar to be part of his record. He gave me this vibe—I saw a reflection of myself in my beginnings. I could see he had the power to become a star.”
Leaders: Pope Francis
Pope Francis has landed on Time‘s list several times before. “This year Pope Francis has addressed the whole Catholic Church on the tragedy of sexual abuse of minors by clergy,” Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna wrote. “He convoked an important meeting of church leadership in February because he believes in protecting the young, and that Catholic leaders around the world should be on the same page.”
Artists: Yalitza Aparicio
Yalitza Aparicio is the Oscar-nominated star in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. She’s also an inspiration to many Indigenous Mexicans who have never seen themselves represented on screen. Cuarón, who searched for a year for a lead for his movie, explained how Yalitza has impressed him with the way she takes on challenges.
“I knew Yalitza was the one as soon as she walked in the door,” he wrote. “When I offered her the role of Cleo, she candidly told me she had just finished school and was waiting to become a teacher. Then she said, ‘I have nothing better to do, so yes.’ I burst into laughter. But you know what? She meant it. That’s the beautiful thing. She really meant it.”