Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa received the inaugural Carlos Fuentes Award for Literary Creation in the Spanish Language during a ceremony that paid tribute to the late Mexican literary icon six months after his death.

In his acceptance speech Wednesday in this capital, the Peruvian novelist described Fuentes' unique contribution to Latin America's literary "boom" movement, which marked its 50-year anniversary this year, and the universal value of his body of work.

"It's been said that 'La ciudad y los perros' (The Time of the Hero) was the first novel of the 'boom,' but that honor should go to 'La region mas transparente' (Where the Air is Clear), which appeared in 1958, four years before mine," Vargas Llosa said, referring to Fuentes' first novel.

The writer received the award in the patio of La Ciudadela - a building in the heart of Mexico's historic downtown - in the presence of hundreds of representatives of Mexico's cultural community and top government officials, including President Felipe Calderon.

Vargas Llosa recalled his relationship with Fuentes, whom he met in Mexico in 1962 while working as a journalist for a French radio and TV network.

Calderon, who conferred the award on the Peruvian author during the ceremony, praised Fuentes' work and Vargas Llosa's literary contributions.

Fuentes died in May at the age of 83. EFE