The criteria for choosing the man of the year, or the woman of the year, are always subjective. I suggest choosing them on the basis of the surprise they instill: they started the year far behind, sometimes behind a screen of anonymity, and they finish it near the summit. Stems from them the chance, or stems from them the danger, of sweeping changes in the history of their countries.

The strongest man in the Taliban

Anas Hakani
Year of Birth: 1993
Something else: Twice sentenced to death in prison in Afghanistan

Anas Hakani / Photo: Reuters, Handout

Anas Hakakani is now the powerful man of the Taliban regime, in charge of security matters in the capital Kabul. He was one of the organizers of the massive terrorist network named after him. Three of his brothers were killed by the Americans. He was held in prison for four years, sentenced to death, but released on a prisoner exchange.

The day after the victory he dripped spectators. It may embody the answer to the question of whether the 2021 Taliban is fundamentally different from the 2001 Taliban, which hosted Osama bin Laden and celebrated the overthrow of the Twin Towers.

A Cinderella Story

Jose Pedro Castillo
Country: Peru
Year of Birth: 1969 (age 51)
Something else: Former Peruvian teachers’ union leader

Jose Pedro Castillo / Photo: Associated Press, Martin Mejia

Jose Pedro Castillo / Photo: Associated Press, Martin Mejia

Jose Pedro Castillo, 51, was an elementary school teacher in a tiny town (344 residents according to the 2017 census) on the slopes of the Andes of northern Peru earlier this year. In late July he was sworn in as President of the Republic. It was an extraordinary political Cinderella story. He tried to be elected to political office only once, 19 years ago, by a mayor, and failed.

Castillo belongs to the original population of Peru, who fell under Spanish rule in the 16th century, was enslaved, exploited, humiliated and pushed to the margins. “This country was built on the rage of my ancestors,” he said, “the story of the muted Peru is my own.“

Can the illiterate teacher navigate a country in a political, economic, social and medical crisis? Will he be able to fulfill the expectations of the poor and tired masses, who brought him to power (on the tip of a voice)? Will the radical leftists surrounding him succeed in turning Peru in a radical and anti.American socialist direction? The whole of Latin America will watch the corps and tremble.

The “traitor” elected president

Hakainda Hitchilma
Country: Zambia
Year of Birth: 1962 (Age: 59)
Something else: Survived 8 days in solitary confinement in prison without food, water and light

Hakaina Hachilama has tried five times to be elected president of Zambia, in Central and East Africa. The sixth time was initially considered hopeless, especially in light of the authoritarian actions of incumbent President Edgar Longo, who used the military and police to narrow the steps of his opponents.

In 2017, Hitchilma was accused of treason because his car did not stop when the president’s convoy of cars passed him. The police broke into his offices, beat his men, robbed and destroyed everything nearby. Fierce international protests forced the regime to release the Hitchhilma.

He won the election by a large majority. Defeated President Longo initially protested “forgery,” but vacated it.

Immediately after his inauguration, Hitchlama told the BBC he had found the state coffers empty. A heavy task rests on the shoulders of the 59.year.old man, but Zambia may be blessed with its own democratic process, few in the African continent.

By Editor

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