National Geographic : 1937 Jun
Photograph by Luis Marden HEROIC INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF MEXICO'S LAST AZTEC RULER ARE DEPICTED ON THE BASE OF HIS STATUE Cuauhtemoc's plumed figure, in bronze, stands atop this impressive monument, unveiled in the tree-lined Paseo delaReforma, Mexico City, in1887. Two bronze jaguars guard a flight of steps at each side of the base, which is adorned with massive tablets. The relief on this side shows Cortez's soldiers torturing the successor of the Montezumas and one of his chiefs with fire in a vain attempt to force them to tell wherethe Aztec gold was hidden. Awarrior dressed in a jaguar skin (third figure from right) stands in tense anguish as he watches his brave master suffer. The Spanish later hanged Cuauhtemoc.