The Mexican government announced Tuesday the creation of a $250,000 literary prize named after Carlos Fuentes, to be awarded every year on Nov. 11, the date on which the late writer was born.

"It is in recognition of a man who made Mexico greater," the president of the National Culture and Arts Council, or Conaculta, Consuelo Saizar, said.

Besides the $250,000 cash award, the Carlos Fuentes International Prize for Literary Creation in the Spanish Language also comes with a sculpture by the artist Vicente Rojo.

Saizar told a press conference at the Palace of Fine Arts that Fuentes "deserved a prize in his name," something that the council had been considering for some time and that, after the sudden death of the author on May 15, it decided to create immediately.

The prize is part of a project "to consolidate Mexico as the intellectual platform of Spanish" in the 21st century, she said.

The writer's widow, Silvia Lemus, said that Fuentes would feel honored to have "his name on a prize for the written word, for literature in Spanish," adding that Carlos would agree to it with "pleasure and satisfaction."

The prize jury will be made up of seven people who will include a member of Spain's Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, another from the Mexican Spanish-language academy, one more from another academy in Latin America or the Philippines, and four additional academic or literary figures from Mexico. EFE