Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who on Thursday died at 87 after a long sickbed, has been cremated in Mexico City where he spent the last 50 years of his life, the Mexican government announced on behalf of the family.
The writer’s cremation was announced by the Mexican government’s National Council for Culture and Arts.
According to a press release, Garcia Marquez was cremated in private.
Colombia’s ambassador to Mexico, Jose Gabriel Ortiz, said that part of the novelist’s ashes would be taken to Colombia.
“Mexico will keep part [of the ashes] at least, and I would think that remains would be taken to Colombia later,” the ambassador was quoted as saying by Spanish press agency EFE. Ortiz claims were not confirmed by either Mexican authorities or Garcia Marquz’ family.
The ambassador said the Garcia Marquez family had the last word on their loved one resting place. None of the family members have spoken publicly after the novelist’s death.
Garcia Marquez was born in the north of Colombia but — after a short stay in New York City — felt forced to move to Mexico at the height of the cold war in the 1960s after repeated criticism and death threats over his leftist political ideals and personal friendship with Fidel Castro, who later became communist dictator of Cuba.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will travel to Mexico City on Monday to take part in the memorial service organized for the writer. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has also confirmed to be present.
Garcia Marquez died on Thursday after a years-long battle against cancer. The writer is the only Colombian to ever have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature.