Some of our hemisphere’s emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
Dasic Fernández cannot remember precisely how or when he became an artist. Fascinated by Chile’s burgeoning hip-hop culture of the 1990s, he searched for a way to engage with it in public spaces. By the age of 14, he had found his answer in graffiti art. Today, at 24, the Santiago-born artist is a muralist of rising fame whose works dot urban landscapes across the Americas.
According to Mexico’s 2000 General Housing and Population Census, nearly two million of Mexico’s approximately 100 million citizens are afflicted by a physical or mental disability. In a country with an average family size of four, that means eight million people are affected by disability on a personal level. Countless more have casual, day-to-day interactions with the disabled, whether at school, in shops or on the street.
The motto of Instituto Azzi, situated on Rua Carreia Dias in the heart of São Paulo, reads, “Canalizando recursos de quem quer investir para quem precisa de investimento.” It’s the vocation of 37-year-old founder Marcos Flávio Azzi. Translated: channeling resources from those who want to invest to those who need investment.
Transparency and accountability of national and state governments are often used to measure the legitimacy of emerging democracies. However, local governments often fly under the radar. Jaime Villasana Dávila, the 36-year-old operations director of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for Latin America, makes sure they don’t.
Since 2001, Villasana has been concentrating on the performance of the 2,500 municipalities in his native Mexico. His unsurprising conclusion is that they have a long way to go in meeting world standards of government transparency. “Only 5 to 10 percent of municipal governments have institutionalized formal performance indicators,” he says, compared to 90 percent of Mexico’s state governments.