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The figure of the deceased wife of Gabo, Mercedes Barcha, stands out


In this May 30, 2007 file photo, the late Colombian Nobel Prize Winner for Literature Gabriel García Márquez greets his arrival on a train with his wife Mercedes Barcha, right, to Aracataca, on his first visit to 25 years to his hometown in northeastern Colombia. Barcha died Saturday at age 87 at his home in Mexico City.


“Without Mercedes I would not have gotten to write the book (One Hundred Years of Solitude)”.

That highlighted at the time the Colombian Nobel Prize in Literature Gabriel García Márquez over his lifelong companion and muse, Mercedes Barcha, who died in the capital of Mexico the day before at the age of 87.

Colombian President Iván Duque, authorities of Mexico, figures of Latin American literature and promoters of art and culture in the region highlighted the influence and decisive support that he had in the life of the Colombian Nobel Prize winner Barcha, who became widowed after the death of the author of “ One Hundred Years of Solitude ”on April 17, 2014.

“Today (Saturday) died, in Mexico City, Mercedes Barcha, the love of the life of our Nobel Gabriel García Márquez, and his unconditional companion in the extensive retreats of Gabo, when he melted into his lyrics. All the solidarity for his family, “wrote the Colombian president on his Twitter account.

Barcha, who had lived in Mexico since 1961 and suffered from respiratory problems, died at his home south of the capital. Her death was confirmed by the Ministry of Culture of the federal government of Mexico.

“Today we bid her farewell, thanking her for her love, support and patience in the more than 25 years that the development of the Gabo Foundation has taken. Dear Mercedes, you were the ground pole, we will never forget you. Your memory will inspire us, ”said Abello Banfi, CEO and co-founder of the Gabo Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism.

Barcha was the honorary president of that foundation, after the death of García Márquez.

Barcha, who was born in 1932 in the Colombian municipality of Magangué, married the famous writer in 1958 and three years later they both moved to the capital of Mexico, where García Márquez wrote his masterpiece, “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, and they had Gonzalo, their second son.

They both lived in the San Ángel neighborhood, a neighborhood south of Mexico City, and Barcha later moved to Jardines del Pedregal, also in the southern area.

Barcha Pardo assumed the role of essential life partner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. Without her, the writer said, dedicating herself to writing would not have been possible.

“Without Mercedes I would not have gotten to write the book (One Hundred Years of Solitude). She took charge of the situation. I had bought a car months ago. I pawned it and gave her the money, calculating that we would have enough to live for about six months. But I spent a year and a half writing the book. When the money ran out, she didn’t tell me anything. She managed, I don’t know how, that the butcher trusted her the meat, the baker the bread and that the owner of the apartment waited for us nine months to pay the rent. She took care of everything without my knowing: even bringing me five hundred sheets of paper from time to time. Those five hundred leaves were never missing. It was she who, once the book was finished, put the manuscript in the mail to send it to Editorial Sudamericana ”, the author went on to say about her.

In social networks, messages of condolences to the García Barcha family abounded.

“I had the privilege of meeting Mercedes Barcha. Great conversationalist, cheerful, critical, cultured, infallible in her opinions. A great and beautiful woman, ”wrote the mayor of the Mexican capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, on Twitter.

“With the death of Mercedes Barcha, La Gaba, herself a myth next to Gabo, a whole literary era is left behind, and there remains the memory of a dear friend of many happy years of talks, surprises, long stories and sleepless nights in Mexico, Cartagena and Managua ”, the Nicaraguan writer and Cervantes Prize winner Sergio Ramírez tweeted the day before.

Jorge Eduardo Ritter, a former Panamanian foreign minister and who was a friend of García Márquez, wrote on Sunday: “Macondo’s literary cycle did not end with the death of Gabo but with that of Mercedes. In no small measure how much we owe to the writer, he and his readers owe it to her. They are together again ”.

Macondo is the fictional town described in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and other works of magical realism by the award-winning Colombian author.

Barcha is survived by his sons Gonzalo and Rodrigo García Barcha.