Chronicle of a burial foretold: Gabriel Garcia Marquez is put to rest in Colombia

The bust of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez at his burial place in Cartagena, Colombia.
(AFP/Getty Images)

More than two years after his death at the age of 87, Gabriel García Márquez has been laid to rest in his home country of Colombia.

The ashes of the legendary author, known for such novels as “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” “Love in the Time of Cholera,” and the novella “Chroncile of a Death Foretold,” were interred in the city of Cartagena. A bronze bust of the author is the centerpiece of his memorial, the BBC reports.

García Márquez, known popularly as “Gabo,” lived for years in Cartagena, where he attended college and got his start as a journalist, writing for the newspaper El Universal. A memorial was constructed at the cloisters of Cartagena University.


Although García Márquez reportedly had mixed feelings about the city where he spent many of his formative years, his relationship with the town wasn’t as fraught as the one he had with his birthplace of Aracataca, a small city in northern Colombia.

Adriana E. Ramírez, one of our Critics at Large, visited Aracataca, which García Márquez left when he was nine. Although he based the town Macondo in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” on his memories of the town, and it has become a tourist destination, she found many of its residents feel bitterly toward the author.

“He isn’t most loved,” Aracataca resident Dayvis Sotelo told Ramírez.”He abandoned us. He left and did nothing for us here.”

Efforts by an Aracataca museum director to have some of García Márquez’s ashes interred in his hometown were unsucessful.

“He couldn’t even leave us some dust,” said Aracataca businessman Wilmer Zapata.

But García Márquez’s family was resolute in their decision to have the novelist’s remains buried in Cartagena.

The author’s sister, Aída Rosa García Márquez, said, “It’s a day of joy mixed with sorrow. But there is more joy than sorrow because to see a brother get to where Gabito reached can only bring joy,” using a nickname that means “little Gabo.”


García Márquez’s son, Gonzalo García Barcha, explained the family’s decision to have the author’s remains interred in Cartagena.

“Cartagena is the city where the García Márquez family is based. It is where my grandparents are buried,” he said. “It seemed natural to us that his ashes should be there too.”