Last updated: February 4, 2013 11:08 pm

The ‘Aztec jaguar’ may be more apt

Jaguar big cat©Dreamstime

From Mr E.D. Longhurst-Pierce.

Sir, In a refreshing and well-informed look at the current state of the Mexican economy (Analysis, January 31), Adam Thomson hails the country as an “Aztec tiger”. Although one can appreciate that “Aztec jaguar” may not evoke the same spirit as the so-called four Asian tigers (or Asian dragons) referring to the developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, surely the reference to a Latin American tiger is equally confusing?

The only New World member of the Panthera genus of which the tiger is a member is the jaguar. For the Mesoamerican civilisations of the Olmec, Maya and Aztec, the jaguar’s strength, aggressive reputation and ability to adapt and survive meant it was incorporated into their mythology in much the same way as the dragon in parts of Asia.

In modern Mexico – and indeed Latin America – the jaguar should stand today, as it did in the past, as a symbol that embodies the leaner, more dynamic, confident and optimistic nature not just of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), but of the country as a whole. Perhaps the new face of country and party alike should be the Aztec jaguar?

E.D. Longhurst-Pierce, Chief Operating Officer, OMFIF, London W6, UK

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