World Reacts to Death of Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez

(All links are in Spanish, otherwise noted as [en] for English.)

On April 17th, 2014 the world learned of writer Gabriel García Márquez's [en] death. Born in Colombia, his career went international after being honored the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 for his work entitled “Cien años de solidad” [en] [One Hundred Years of Solitude] and “for his novels and short stories [en], where fact and fiction come together in a world richly composed of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and troubles.”

Internet users didn't wait to express their thoughts via Twitter hashtags such as #GabrielGarciaMarquez [en], #GraciasGabo [Thanks Gabo], #DescanseEnPazGabo [Rest In Peace Gabo], #AdiosGabo [Goodbye Gabo], Macondo, Realismo Mágico [Magic Realism], and Aracataca.

La Revista Arcadia [The Arcadia Magazine] published a multimedia special on the life and work of the writer and journalist. The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo put out a call in search of stories from readers that met him. 

Gabriel García Márquez by Arturo Espinosa en Flickr. Imagen bajo licencia CC by 2.0

Gabriel García Márquez by Arturo Espinosa en Flickr. Image licensed CC by 2.0


The White House published a quote citing [en]:

Con la muerte de Gabriel García Márquez el mundo pierde uno de sus escritores más visionarios y uno de los favoritos de mi juventud.

With the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the world has lost one of its great visionary writers – and one of my favorites from the time I was young.

Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, expressed:

It was with sorrow to hear about the death of Colombian writer, Gabriel García Márquez.

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, expressed:

One thousand years of solitude and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time! Solidarity and condolences for Gaba and family.

Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa remembers “Gabo's” love for Latin America:

Gabo has left us, we will have years of solitude, but his love and work will remain for the Great Homeland. Ever onward to victory, darling Gabo!

From Peru, Ollanta Humala asserts:

Latin America and the world entire will feel this dreamer's parting.  May you rest in peace in Macondo Gabriel García Márquez. 

In Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro published a photo with the following commentary:

He was a sincere and loyal friend to the revolutionary leaders that lifted the dignity of Martí and Bolívar's America.

La Fundación Gabriel García Márquez [The Gabriel García Márquez Foundation] for the Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano [The New Iberoamerican Journalism] (FNPI is the Spanish acronym) thanked everyone for their words.

Muchas gracias a todos por sus mensajes. Cumpliremos el mandato de Gabo son seriedad y entusiasmo. #GraciasGabo
— FNPI (@FNPI_org) April 17, 2014

Thank you very much for all of your words. We will fulfill Gabo's engagement seriously and enthusiast.

Nevertheless for Twitter user Richie, the coverage relating the death of the yellow butterfly writer has not been enough:

La muerte de García Márquez cogió a los periodistas colombianos de vacaciones. Un viejo brillante hasta el final.

— Richie (@melisMatik) abril 17, 2014

Colombian journalists were on vacation when García Márquez died. A wise old man until the end.

Gina Eschebac reflects upon why García Márquez died in Mexico and not Colombia, giving the reminder that he had to live in exile because he was accused of being a communist, as we will see further on:


— #Afro Candombera (@afro_candombera)abril 18, 2014


Rubén Díaz Caviedes mentions in a post from the magazine Jot Down that the writer died in said country due to health problems:

Lo último que se sabía sobre el estado de su salud era que los años le estaban venciendo por la cabeza y que tenía «conflictos de memoria», citando a su hermano pequeño. Sufría una demencia senil acelerada, según él, por el tratamiento contra el cáncer linfático que casi se lo llevó en 1999.

The last known information regarding his health was that age was getting the best of his mind and that he had “memory problems”, quoting his younger brother. According to him, García Márquez suffered from rapid senile dementia due to to cancer treatment for lymphoma, which almost took his life in 1999.

The Colombian literature blog entitled, Macondo Literario [Macondo Literary] said:

Un querido y agradecido adiós a Gabo por compartirnos tanto a través de sus letras.

A loving and thankful goodbye to Gabo for sharing so much with us through his words.

From his blog Juan que Duerme [John that Sleeps], remembers the Nobel winner's speech, “La soledad de América Latina” [Latin America's Solitude], where he reflects about what first Europeans found when they first arrived to the New World and about some facts that were occuring back in 1982.

And finally an article from América Economía [America Economy] offers us excerpts from two stories where former Cuban president, Fidel Castro, retells his stories of the Colombian Nobel winner. He reminds us that during his lifetime, Gabriel García Márquez was labeled a communist. This without a doubt, did not hinder his glory. He rose to be Russia's most read foreign author. His work, “El amor en los tiempos de colera” [en] [Love in the Time of Cholera] was taken to the Hollywood screen [en]. His works also inspired a variety of songs.

According to a post from C – Records:

Pablo Neruda dijo sobre la novela ‘Cien años de soledad’, que era “la mejor novela que se ha escrito en castellano después del Quijote”. Los índices numéricos como el que demuestran que los libros de García Márquez son los más vendidos de los que se hayan publicado en lengua española en toda la historia, exceptuando la Biblia.

Pablo Neruda said that the novel “Cien años de soledad” was “the best novel written in Castilian Spanish, after Don Quijote.” Statistics show that García Márquez's books are the most sold in the history of Spanish literature, except for the Bible.

May he rest in peace.

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