President López Obrador and Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio are among Time magazine’s “100 most influential people of 2019.”
The two Mexicans appear alongside notable names including Pope Francis, United States President Donald Trump, singer Lady Gaga, former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The list is divided into five categories — pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans.
As is customary, short biographies or tributes written by prominent figures explain why each of the 100 people on the list deserves his or her place.
In the case of López Obrador, the guest author was Jorge Ramos, a United States-based Mexican journalist who clashed with the president at a morning press conference last week over the accuracy of the government’s homicide figures.
“More than 30 million Mexicans voted for a change in the last election, and that’s exactly what they got,” Ramos wrote.
“President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO, as he is called) travels in economy class and refuses to live in the presidential mansion of Los Pinos; his main message is against corruption; and every morning, at 7:00 am, he gives a press conference (known as la mañanera). Yes, it is in sharp contrast with previous leaders. But is that what Mexico really needs?” he continues.
Ramos goes on to point out that the president’s “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.”
He notes that AMLO has managed to “deactivate” Trump by not responding to the U.S. president’s threatening tweets towards Mexico but adds that “to the dismay of many, the leftist politician has rejected calls to denounce the dictatorship in Venezuela.”
Ramos contends that López Obrador’s “big test” is to combat violence in Mexico before concluding with a prediction that challenges the president’s messianic status among his staunchest supporters.
“AMLO waited 12 years to become president, and he is in a hurry to act. But sooner or later he will realize that just one person cannot save Mexico. Others have tried and failed.”
Writing about Aparicio – the 25-year-old star of Roma – the film’s director Alfonso Cuarón says that the Mixtec woman from Oaxaca “defies paradigms.”
He points out that “before starring in Roma, she had no acting experience, yet she earned an Academy Award nomination for best actress in a leading role,” adding that she also overcame her fear of the ocean and learned the Mixteco language for the film.
“Yalitza can take any task that’s put in front of her and excel in ways no one thought possible,” Cuarón declares.
The director explains that he knew from the moment he met Aparicio that she “was the one” to take on the role of Cleo, a domestic worker and the protagonist of Roma.
Cuarón writes that Aparicio is “incredibly grounded in her truth and not easily swept away by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood,” adding that “she focuses on being a force of change and empowerment for indigenous women, embracing the symbolic value of what she has done and carrying that responsibility with dignity and grace.”
The former preschool teacher from the town of Tlaxiaco is one of 48 women on the Time list, an increase of three from last year and double the number that appeared on the inaugural list in 2004.
Cuarón concludes by writing that he deeply admires Aparicio and hopes that she will continue acting and evolving her craft.
“Selfishly, I want to see more of her onscreen. She has an amazing gift . . .”
Source: El Financiero (sp)