Juanes to Perform at This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Concert

Juanes is spreading the Peace for a third time…

The 44-year-old Colombian superstar is set to perform at the 23rd annual Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, joining a star-studded lineup including Sting, Halsey and Icona Pop.


The event is set to take place at Oslo’s Telenor Arena and will be hosted by Conan O’Brien.

“Advocating that all people have a right to live in peace has long been a cornerstone of my music and the work of our foundation, so I’ve been flattered to participate in past Nobel concerts recognizing global leaders pursuing peace across our world,” Juanes said in a statement. “With this year’s award recognizing the efforts of President Santos to bring a lasting peace to my own nation, I am beyond honored to be asked to perform at the ceremony in Oslo once again this year.”

It’s not the first time Juanes has performed at a Nobel Peace Prize concert: The “Fuego” singer performed in 2005 and 2007 for laureates Mohamed ElBaradei and Al Gore.

“Juanes is an old and dear friend to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and we are delighted that he will be back on stage this year,” said Olav Njølstad, director of Norway’s The Nobel Institute. “Besides being a brilliant musician he is devoted to charitable work and a strong supporter of the peace process in his home country Colombia. Together with his fabulous band and dancers Juanes will certainly ignite the audience and inject a lot of positive energy into the concert.”

This year’s honorees include Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos and Bob Dylan — who became the first musician to earn the Nobel Prize in literature.

Ibargüen Gives Colombia Its First-Ever Gold Medal in the Women’s Triple Jump

She may have had to settle for silver at the 2012 London Games… But that wasn’t the case this time around for Caterine Ibargüen.

The 29-year-old Colombian track star prevailed in the women’s triple jump on Thursday at the IAAF World Athletic Championships, giving her country its first-ever international title in the sport.

Caterine Ibargüen

Ibargüen, who was unbeaten this year coming into the contest at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, took the gold medal with a leap of 14.85 meters, a margin of 4 centimeters over Russia’s Ekaterina Koneva.

Ukrainian jumper Olha Saladuha picked up the bronze medal.

The reigning Olympic gold medalist, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, did not compete.

Saladuha, winner of the bronze medal in London and the defending European champion, was favored ahead of Thursday’s heats, though Ibargüen had beaten the Ukrainian all four times the two women faced each other this year.

“I have great support from all Colombia, from the Olympic Committee, from the Federation, and even more from the excellent coach I have now, Ubaldo Duani. He has created a lot of confidence in me and has given me an incredible mental strength,” said Ibargüen.

“Gold for Caterine, who shines from Moscow in the World Athletic Championship,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

“Historic for Colombia, what pride,” the president tweeted.

Muñoz Claims a Bronze in Men’s Taekwondo at the London Games

London Olympics 2012

The first time’s a charm for teen taekwondo sensation Oscar Muñoz Oviedo at the 2012 Olympic Games

Following a tough loss to eventual champion Joel González of Spain, the 19-year-old Colombian fighter—competing in his first Olympics—beat Thailand’s Pen-Ek Karaket on Wednesday to take home the bronze medal in the men’s under-58kg taekwondo final at the London Games.

Oscar Munoz Oviedo

Muñoz and Karaket closed out the first round tied at zero, but the Colombiano closed the second round by a score of 3-1.

And Muñoz came away with the victory after he successfully challenged a last second three-point kick. The judges penalized the Thai fighter for an illegal blow in the third round, which helped seal Muñoz 6-4 win.

“It was a very difficult fight; at the end I was able to solve it,” said Muñoz, insisting that he never lost confidence that “everything was going to come out fine.”


Muñoz’s medal sets Colombia’s medal count at the 2012 Olympic Games at five, two silver and three bronze. That improves on the country’s all-time record for most medals in a single Games that was already set after Caterine Ibarguen medal-winning performance in  the triple jump on Sunday.

“Thanks to God I have been able to obtain this victory, a medal I have wanted for Colombia so long,” said Muñoz after the fight.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated his country’s latest Olympic victor on Twitter. “What pride for Valledupar!” said the president.

Alvear Claims Colombia’s First-Ever Olympic Medal in Judo…

London Olympics 2012

Now that’s how you shake it of… Following a crushing 10-second loss to eventual winner Lucie Decosse of France in the quarterfinals, Yuri Alvear bounced back to claim her place on the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The 26-year-old Colombian judoka, the 2009 world champion, beat Fei Chen of China on Wednesday to take the bronze medal in the in the 70kg division in women’s judo.

Yuri Alvear

In the process, Alvear—who placed seventh after losing a very close match to Leire Iglesias of Spain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing—landed in the annals of Colombian sports, giving her country its first Olympic medal in judo.

Yuri Alvear

Having learned that Alvear had won Colombia’s first Olympic judo medal, the country’s president Juan Manuel Santos called her to thank her. The only problem was, she was too busy to speak to him.

“At that moment I was heading to the medal ceremony so I couldn’t talk to him,” Alvear said laughing. “I told him I would call him back when the ceremony finished.”

Urán Earns a Silver in the Olympic Men’s Cycling Road Race

London Olympics 2012

Rigoberto Urán is the first Latino to take the podium at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London…

The 25-year-old Colombian road racing cyclist was thisclose to winning the gold medal in the men’s cycling road race on Saturday morning. But in the closing kilometers of the race, Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov sprinted just past Urán to earn the gold medal.

Rigoberto Urán

Urán, the winner of the young rider classification at this year’s Giro d’Italia, would have to settle for the silver.

“To be honest I wasn’t counting on the medal but we have it now. This one is for all the people of Colombia who were hoping,” said Urán at the finish line. “Colombia, this medal is for you.”

Rigoberto Urán

Winning the silver just days into the 2012 London Games was a proud moment for Urán and his country. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Colombia took home just one medal – a silver in the women’s 55kg wrestling. Uran was hoping for the gold, but didn’t have the strength to overhaul by Vinokourov.

“I attacked and at the sprint I was thinking of the gold [medal]. However, one thing is what you think and another thing is what the legs say,” the cyclist told RCN Radio. “I looked to my right and suddenly Alexandre took off. I didn’t have anything left for a sprint. It was a very long day.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos immediately reacted to the news of the country’s first medal in London for 2012.

“I want to express my happiness and I believe the happiness of all Colombians because we have just won the first medal at the London Olympics,” he said in a public speech.

Uran’s silver is just the 12th medal won by a Colombian at the Olympic Games.

Alexander Kristoff
of Norway took home the bronze in the men’s cycling road race.

Rubio Among the Nine Latinos on Time’s 100 Influentials List

He may be the junior United States Senator from Florida with only about 15 months in office… But, Marco Rubio is already being hailed as one of the most influential people in the world.

The 40-year-old Cuban American politician appears on Time magazine’s just released list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Senator Marco Rubio

“I knew there was something special about Marco Rubio when I first met him as a young Republican city commissioner. Bilingual and bicultural, he represents the best of the emerging second generation of Cuban immigrants,” writes former Florida governor Jeb Bush about the U.S. Senator who is being called a potential vice presidential pick for the Republican Party. “His ascendancy in politics has not surprised me or the people who know him. Rubio’s abiding faith in the promise of America is so compelling.”

But Senator Rubio isn’t the only Latino making Time’s ninth annual list. In all, nine Latinos made the cut, including three females.

Here’s a look at the rest of the world’s most influential Latinos, according to Time.

Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.
The 44-year-old Emmy and Grammy-winning Mexican-American comedian/actor is the star of FX’s comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs and edits. Comedienne Joan Rivers writes of Louis C.K.:  “When he sent me the Louie episode he wanted me to do, I called him and said, ‘I like it, but I’d like to work with you on this.’ He was wonderful. There is absolutely no ego there — we reworked the script together and we improvised. It was such a meeting of the minds, such a joy.”

José Andrés
Last year, the 42-year-old Spanish chef and activist won the coveted James Beard Foundation‘s Outstanding Chef Award, the highest honor a chef in America can achieve. But José Andrés wasn’t honored for his gastronomic work; he was recognized for his philanthropic efforts. Fellow chef Anthony Bourdain writes about José Andrés: “That this gift of Spain to the U.S. is best known as a great chef with a portfolio of extraordinary restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas is almost beside the point. He’s bigger and more important than that. No one kitchen — or 10 — can contain him. He is advocate, promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, artist. Keep up with him at your peril.”

Dulce Matuz

Dulce Matuz
The 27-year-old Mexican illegal immigrant and advocate is the president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, the group working to provide a path to citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria writes about Dulce Matuz, who attended high school and college in Arizona: “An undocumented Latina confronted with legal barriers to pursuing her engineering dream, she chose to fight for the right to contribute to the country she has called home since she was young. As president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Dulce promotes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who, like her, were brought to the U.S. before they were 16, attend college or serve in the military and are of good moral character. Dulce takes on powerful opponents with grace and conviction, saying, ‘We are Americans, and Americans don’t give up.’”

Eike Batista

Eike Batista
The 55-year-old Brazilian business tycoon, one of the richest people in the world, is the owner and president of Brazilian conglomerate EBX Group. Eike Batista made the list for his commitment to social inclusion initiatives in Rio de Janeiro. The city’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, credited Batista for bolstering Rio’s successful bid to host the 2016 Olympics and for donating to civic initiatives. “He might be Brazil’s richest man and the world’s seventh richest, bringing vital investment to our city from oil and mining, but his most valuable asset is his commitment to Rio’s legacy,” writes Paes.

Juan Manuel Santos

Juan Manuel Santos
The 60-year-old Colombian President may be recognized for helping his country in its bid to be a more developed world player, but Colombian pop singer Shakira believes he’s also a strong leader at home, especially after working directly with President Juan Manuel Santos on education and childhood development programs throughout the country. She writes, “A leader is someone who understands the people’s vision of a better tomorrow and is willing to guide them there. In Colombia, we dream of a future of progress, prosperity and peace. By focusing on education, I believe President Santos is on the right track to make that dream a reality.”

Maria das Graças Silva Foster

Maria das Graças Silva Foster
The Brazilian oil engineer was recently named the CEO of Petrobras, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of oil. She becomes its first female CEO and the first woman to run a major oil company. And, she’s known for being a tough, no-nonsense operator. “Foster, 58, spent her early childhood in a working-class favela on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and collected recyclable cans and paper to help pay for school. A chemical engineer by training, she joined Petrobras and stayed for more than 30 years. Her tireless work habits earned her the nickname Caveirao, slang for the armored cars Brazilian police use to clear out slums,” writes Bryan Walsh, a senior editor at Time.

Dilma Rousseff
The 64-year-old Brazilian politician, considered one of the world’s most powerful women, is the first woman to hold the office of President in her native country. Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández De Kirchner writes of Rousseff, “She and I share many personal experiences: the drive that comes from our immigrant heritage, youthful activism and militancy and the challenges faced by women as they try to grow in a space dominated by men. And we agree that social inequality is the greatest problem facing our countries. Historically, what was “national” in Latin America used to run counter to the interests of the other nations in our region. Today, with the leadership of Dilma Rousseff, we see a Brazil convinced that its national interest is absolutely linked to the interests of its neighbors.”


Lionel Messi
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old Argentinean soccer star, who plays for Futbol Club Barcelona, claimed his third consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or, making him the first footballer to win the honor three years in a row. U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm writes of Lionel Messi: “He makes you hold your breath every time he touches the ball. It never seems to leave his feet. His love of the game and the pride he feels while playing for Barcelona and Argentina are palpable. Then you meet him, and you are reminded that he is only 5 ft. 7 in. (170 cm),” says Hamm. “He certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time, and I am so grateful for his approach to the game in this day and age. Clearly he plays because he loves it, and it shows every time he takes the field.

Click here for Time‘s complete list of influentials.

Mr. Ambassador Leguizamo!

He’s one of the most successful Colombian actors in Hollywood, noted for his work in beloved films like the “Ice Age” franchise, “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge”… But Colombian-born actor/comedian John Leguizamo is taking on a big role! He’ll serve as a Colombian ambassador.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos elevated Leguizamo’s “Honorary Ambassador” status, which he received in 2009, to the official title of the country’s ambassador to the world of cinema.

“He was named ambassador of Colombia for all the directors and great actors in the world,” announced Santos in a press conference with Leguizamo, whom he’d previously met at the presidential palace.

The Bogota born actor, who was raised in Queens, New York, is ready for the challenge.

“To be an ambassador is a big responsibility,” professed Leguizamo. “But Colombia is a stunning country… And we want to offer it to the world to enjoy.”

President Santos hopes Leguizamo’s work will help disprove many of the outdated negative views and notions about Colombia.

“I want to thank you very much, with all of my heart, in the name of all Colombians, for your presence and this offer to become our ambassador to Hollywood, to all of the great international studios, because this not only helps our image, it shows who we really are, it breaks a series of negative perceptions that over many years have accumulated in the mind of many people,” announced the Colombian head of state.