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Greatest Living Latino/a 'Hustlers' in America & Latin America

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First Posted: Dec 19, 2013 08:40 PM EST
'Hustlers' from the U.S. & Latin America
Who are some modern day ‘hustlers’ who hustle and bustle their way to the top of the business and entertainment sector? (Photo : Flickr)

With movie-lovers gearing up for Oscar season, many will be flocking to the theaters around Christmastime to take a break from the holiday shopping, eating or in-laws -- basically a way to escape your own life for a couple of hours.

One must-see this season is the American Hustle, which is loosely based on the "Abscam" scandal, "a sting operation by the FBI, in which various political office holders were offered bribes on behalf of a (fake) Arab sheikh, it led to multiple convictions, as well as to charges that the FBI unfairly entrapped people," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The film changes names and motivations, adds characters and alters relationships, but one thing is true -- the FBI really did hire a professional con man to put over the scam. Here that's Irving (Christian Bale), a man from the Bronx streets (Bale's accent is perfection). His partner is his girlfriend, Sydney (Amy Adams), who hides her own hard-scrabble background behind a posh English accent. Both are driven by a need to re-invent themselves as something splendid and glamorous, which makes them quintessentially American dreamers, not just hustlers."

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Everyone wants a piece of the pie and, when it comes to the U.S., Latin or European market, it's a great place for many heavy hitters, aggressive business savvy players and cross-over stars to cash in.

While they aren't all corrupt, 'bad' people, and many are involved in philanthropy, love their families and have a passion for what they do, etc., they are too are dreamers -- and not just 'hustlers,' per say.

So who are some of these modern day Latin 'hustlers' who hustle and bustle their way to the top of the business and entertainment sector?

(There are many, but here's the Top Five, all have made the Forbes' list as some of the richest people in the U.S., Latin America and Spain.)

Carlos Slim Helú

Mexican billionaire, "Helu holds the title of the world's second richest man (net worth $69 billion), having lost the world's richest spot to Bill Gates in May. The biggest chunk of Slim's fortune lies in telecom. He also owns mining, financial, industrial and real estate companies, plus a stake in the New York Times. In 2012 he added soccer to the mix, buying into Mexico's Leon and Pachuca clubs and Spain's Real Oviedo. In February, Slim and Bill Gates announced they were funding research to reduce hunger and support innovation for farmers in the developing world."

Emilio Azcarraga Jean

"Jean is the president and CEO of powerhouse Mexican TV broadcaster Televisa. Grupo Televisa is a leader in content generation in Mexico, producing thousands of hours of original programming, exported to dozens of countries, including the U.S. Azcarraga has declared war on Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, by entering the telecommunication business after Mexican authorities finally allowed him to buy 50% of the shares of mobile phone company Iusacell. He became the CEO of Grupo Televisa after the death of his father in 1997. He is on the boards of Grupo Financiero Banamex and Univision. He is also a global board member of Endeavor, an international non-profit development organization that finds and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets."

These two are under the threat of becoming monopolies, according to Forbes' Dolia Estevez.

"América Móvil and Grupo Televisa -- Mexico's largest phone company and its largest TV broadcaster, respectively -- were told by the country's new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) that they were placed under preliminary review to determine whether they are dominant players in the telecommunications sector. América Móvil is controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, and Televisa by fellow billionaire Emilio Azcarraga Jean," Estevez reports.

Armancio Ortega

"Spain's Amancio Ortega is the year's biggest gainer, up $19.5 billion. He moves into the top three among the world's richest for the first time. He stepped down as chairman of Inditex, best known for its Zara brand, in 2011, but still owns nearly 60% of its shares, which soared 50% year-over-year on record profits. Ortega also has a real estate portfolio, much of it acquired at bargain prices during the financial downturn, estimated to be worth more than $4 billion. Among his properties: the iconic Torre Picasso, a 43-story skyscraper in Madrid (Google is a tenant), which he purchased from billionaire Esther Koplowitz in 2011. He also owns buildings in Madrid, London, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. A railway worker's son, he started as a gofer in a shirt store. With then-wife Rosalia Mera, also a billionaire, he started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room."

Jennifer Lopez

"She's an actress, a singer, a businesswoman, a philanthropist, an owner of a production company -- "Lopez earned $52 million in 2012, then ditched her gig as a judge on American Idol,  and the $12 million salary that came with it. [She returned to Idol again so her net worth should rise]. She's still filling her coffers at nearly the same rate, thanks to a lucrative world tour that grossed her over $1 million per night and a starring role in Latin song competition Q'Viva for Fox. Lopez continues to give back through her foundation and is the first female spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in its century-and-a-half history." She has also endorsed numerous companies, such as Fiat, L'Oréal and Viva Movil, among many others.

Sofía Vergara

"The Modern Family star, who celebrates her second anniversary as the highest-paid actress on television, upped the ante this year with a major salary increase and by doubling the number of endorsements in her already crowded portfolio. Vergara's Kmart-based line of clothing and home goods continues to thrive and is credited with increasing the retailer's market share with the Hispanic community. Vergara is also the executive producer on the ABC show 'Killer Women.'"  She also has a Pepsi  endorsement deal and is a paid spokeperson for Synthroid (thyroid medicine).

Eva Longoria

"Desperate Housewives ended its eight-season run last year and like her female cast-mates, Longoria pulled in $375,000 per episode. Post-Wisteria Lane the Texas native has multiple irons in the fire: she's produced a pilot for a new series with DHW creator Marc Cherry called 'Devious Maids 'and has produced a dating reality show, 'Ready For Love' for NBC. It was hosted by reality veterans Bill and Giuliana Rancic. Longoria also lends her famous face to L'Oreal Paris and Pepsi."

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