International community remembers ‘Gabo’

The passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, known fondly as “Gabo,” left many around the world in mourning. From world leaders to celebrities, there was an…
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International community remembers ‘Gabo’

A woman touches photos on a timeline of the life of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez on a wall at the Luis Angel Arango Library in downtown Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Garcia Marquez died in Mexico City on Thursday. The author was among Latin America’s most popular writers and widely considered the father of a literary style known as magic realism. (AP Photo/Diana Sanchez)

The passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, known fondly as “Gabo,” left many around the world in mourning.

From world leaders to celebrities, there was an outpouring of love for the Nobel Prize-winning author. Many expressions of grief came from Marquez’s country of Colombia and its neighbors, though numerous figures from other parts of the globe chimed in, as well.

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Garcia Marquez died in Mexico City, at age 87. He was known in particular for his use of magical realism in his writing and for his novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Quite a few of the reactions to the author’s death recalled that book, underlining its global impact.

From the Political Realm

Latin American political leaders were quick to share their emotions over Garcia Marquez’s passing:

–       Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos: “A thousand years of loneliness and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!”

–       Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto: “On behalf of Mexico, I express my sadness for the death of one of the greatest writers of our time: Gabriel Garcia Marquez.”

–       Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa: “Gabo has left us and we will have years of solitude. But his works and his love for the motherland remain. Farewell until the victory, dear Gabo.”

President Barack Obama: “I once had the privilege to meet him in Mexico, where he presented me with an inscribed copy that I cherish to this day.  As a proud Colombian, a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, and as a master of the ‘magic realism’ genre, he has inspired so many others – sometimes even to pick up the pen themselves”.

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This undated file photo shows Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez at an undisclosed location. Marquez died Thursday April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. (AP Photo)

Former President Bill Clinton said: “From the time I read ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ more than 40 year ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty…I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years.”

From the Entertainment and Media

Authors, friends and celebrities also vocalized their thoughts on the loss of Gabo. Many, again, hailed from Latin America:

–       Juanes: “One of the biggest of them all leaves but an immortal legend stays…thank you Gabriel García Márquez.”

–       Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado: “He had the capacity to see stories that many of us have in front of us and don’t even notice. He was unique in that.”

–       Editorial director at Penguin Random House in Mexico, Cristobal Pera: “He is like the Mandela of literature because of the impact that he has had on readers all over the world. His influence is universal, and that is a very rare thing.”

–       Mexican sports journalist David Faitelson: “May you rest in peace. One of the biggest in Latin American literature, the legendary Gabriel García Márquez.”

Shakira posted an especially heartfelt response to Garcia Marquez’s death. Along with a picture of herself hugging the renowned author, the Colombian singer and “The Voice” coach said this, as reported in Latin Times:

“Dear Gabo, you once said that life isn’t what one lived, but the life one remembers and how he remembers it to retell it…Your life, dear Gabo, will be remembered by all of us as a unique and singular gift, and as the most original story of all. It’s difficult to say goodbye to you, with all that you’ve given us! You will always be in my heart and in those of all who loved and admired you.”

Though the world may have lost a talented and inspirational author, Gabo will undoubtedly live on in both his literary works and the deep impression he made on those in Latin America and beyond.

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