On Saturday, Mexico’s president shared a photo on social media of what he described as a mythological woodland spirit resembling an elf.

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Image Credit: AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File

The 69-year-old president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, tweeted a picture of what he described as “aluxe”, a woodland spirit according to Mayan mythology. With a photograph of what he claims is a Mayan elf, the politician’s tweet went viral.

The tweet’s translated text reads, “I share two images of our oversight of the Mayan Train works: one, shot by an engineer three days ago, allegedly from an aluxe; another, by Diego Prieto of a splendid pre-Hispanic sculpture in Ek Balam.” He added in the translation, “Everything is mystical.”


The creature is seen in the hazy photo sitting in a tree, looking somewhat like a monkey or a sloth, with its head turned towards the camera and its eyes sparkling. In addition, there seems to be something on its head, but the photo’s poor clarity makes it difficult to tell exactly what the supposed creature is.

According to Mayan beliefs, the “aluxe” that the Mexican president mentioned is a little entity infamous for tricking people. People frequently layout offerings for the fanciful mischievous creatures, who are thought to reside in forests and fields.

The Maya descendants still reside on the Yucatán peninsula, where the ancient Maya civilization peaked between AD 300 and AD 900 on the peninsula and in nearby areas of Central America.

López Obrador has often emphasized his respect for indigenous traditions and ways of life. A tourist train that is the president’s favourite project is being built in the Yucatán peninsula.

Obrador’s tweet has since received more than 7 million views, so it’s probable that someone who saw it has the information. Nevertheless, some have claimed the animal in the picture is simply a “raccoon with a sack on its head” or some other animal.

Published by HOLR Magazine.