Thirty six Latin Americans figure in the Forbes list of men with fortunes greater than a billion dollars, like the Mexican Carlos Slim, the new Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, and the Brazilian Eike Batista, as well as drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, “El Chapo,” informed Forbes magazine.
“The region has had a spectacular year, with Carlos Slim reaching first place on the list, Sebastián Piñera, who is about to take office in Chile, and Eike Fuhrken Batista as the biggest winner,” said the US coordinator of the investigation, Luisa Kroll.
The accumulated fortune this year by Mexican businessman Slim reaches 53,5 billion dollars, next to the 35 billion of 2009, thanks to his assets in America Movil, the largest cellular phone company in Latin America, and his participation in the newspaper The New York Times.
This has allowed him to take the lead, leaving out the men from the US that has held the first places since 1994 in the world ranking of the richest men.
The second richest Latin American is Brazilian businessman Eike Batista, whose fortune has increased to 19,5 billion in just one year, and now reaches 27 billion allowing him to occupy the eighth place in the general ranking.
Among the nine Mexicans on the list – and in the penultimate place of the Latin Americans – the drug lord Guzmán Loera also appears, a fugitive from justice who, for the second time, is part of the club of people with more than a billion dollars.
“We don’t judge how these fortunes are acquired, as we have made clear in the past, even though we consider this case to be deplorable,” defended the president of the Forbes group, Steve Forbes, whose publication was already very criticized last year for including this person in his list.
In a press conference, Forbes also showed his confidence in that “Mexico will be successful in its fight against drugs as it counts with enormous possibilities of moving forward, although it will still have to carry out structural reforms in the next years.”
The magazine calculates that Guzman has a fortune of a billion dollars, the same that he had in 2009, and it assures that he was included in the list because “we had enough information about him,” according to Kroll.
The majority of the Latin Americans are well known, since the only newcomers on the list are the Chilean Horst Paulmann, president of the property group Cencosud – who, with his family, took the 154th spot on the list – and the Brazilian João Alves de Queiroz Filho, founder of the food company Arisco (616).
Along with this last one and Batista, there are a total of 18 Brazilians that integrate the Forbes list, such as Jorge Paulo Lemann (48), José Safra (64), Dorothea Steinbruch and family (136), Marcel Herrmann Telles (152), Carlos Alberto Sicupira (176), Aloysio de Andrade Faria (201), Abílio dos Santos Diniz (316), and Antonio Ermínio de Moraes and family (also at 316).
To those, the following can be added: Moisés Safra (421), Elie Horn (437), Antonio Luiz Seabra (also 437), Guilherme Peirão Leal (463), Rubens Ometto Silveira Mello (463), Liu Ming Chung (582), Jayme Garfinkel (828), and Julio Bozano (880).
The second most numerous nationals are from Mexico, due to the fact that, aside from Slim, the following were included: Ricardo Salinas Pliego (63), Germán Larrea Mota Velasco (72), and Alberto Bailleres (82), Jerónimo Arango (212), all of them along with their families, as well as Emilio Azcárraga (655), Roberto Hernández (828), and Alfredo Harp Helu and family (937).
Those who complete the list are: the Chileans Iris Fontbona and family (52), and Eliodoro, Bernardo, and Patricia Matte (who together occupy the 84th spot); the Colombians Julio Mario Santo Domingo (123) and Luis Carlos Sarmiento (135); the Venezuelans Gustavo Cisneros (201) and Lorenzo Mendoza (258), along with their families, and the Argentine Gregorio Pérez Companc and family (488).