ALCALA DE HENARES, Spain (AP) — Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska has become the fourth woman to receive Spain's prestigious Cervantes Prize.

The 81-year-old journalist and author on Wednesday recalled her nation's many needy people and battered women when accepting the top prize for Spanish-language literature from King Juan Carlos. She also paid tribute to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died last week at his home in Mexico City.

The only other Mexican writers to receive the Cervantes prize since it was first awarded in 1976 have been Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Sergio Pitol and Jose Emilio Pacheco.

Born in France, Poniatowska and her family arrived in Mexico as refugees in 1942. Her best known works include "La noche de Tlatelolco," about the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City.

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