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Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ashes may go to Mexico and Colombia

Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel laureate who died in Mexico City on Thursday, has been cremated and his ashes could be shared between two countries, according to Mexican media reports.

The Colombian novelist spent five decades of his life in Mexico but never gave up his Colombian citizenship. On Friday, Colombia's ambassador to Mexico, Jose Gabriel Ortiz, told reporters gathered outside the late author's Mexico City home that part of his remains might return to Colombia.

"In Mexico, of course, one part of him will remain, and it's thought that they can take another part to Colombia ... and that some of his ashes will remain there," the ambassador said. The final decision, the ambassador said, rests with García Márquez's family.

In Colombia, the mayor of Aracataca, the small town where the author was born and raised, called on the remains to be interred there.

"With all respect we ask the family members of Gabriel García Márquez, and our national government, to see if his ashes can rest here, in his birthplace museum," said Mayor Tufith Hatum.

The town of 45,000 (which still lacks reliable drinking water) is to stage a memorial service on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, the author's remains will be transported to the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City for a memorial service. The presidents of Mexico and Colombia will attend the ceremony, and classical music (the author's favorite) will be played, according to media reports.

ALSO:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: An appreciation

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Five essential reads

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel-winning author, dies at 87

hector.tobar@latimes.com

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