Mexican writer Ernesto de la Peña was presented Tuesday with the 26th Menendez Pelayo International Prize in recognition for "his concern about the transmission of knowledge and access to culture by the new generations."

A total of 27 nominees in the field of literary or scientific creativity were vying this year for the award, which comes with 34,000 euros in cash ($42,285) and is presented annually by Mexico City-based Colegio de Mexico and Spain's Universidad Internacional Menedez Pelayo, according to a communique released by the latter educational institution.

The panel of judges emphasized the side of De la Peña as a "great essayist, relevant storyteller, poet and philologist," adding that he is "a great expert in classical and modern languages of all types."

De la Peña, who was born in 1927 in Mexico City, heads the Telmex Foundation's Centro de Estudios de Ciencias y Humanidades.

Among the titles of his published works are "Las estratagemas de Dios," "Las maquinas espirituales," "El indeseable caso de Borelli" and "Mineralogia para intrusos."

Past winners of the award include authors Mario Benedetti and Mario Vargas Llosa.

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