“Gabo was light of the world and salt of the earth,” said Monsignor Rubén Salazar during a religious ceremony in Bogotá to honor Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s Nobel Prize winning writer who passed away on Thursday at the age of 87.
Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, attended the mass accompanied by his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez; also in attendance were former presidents Cesar Gaviria, Belisario Betancur, Ernesto Samper and the heads of all Colombian ministries.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez managed to capture Colombia in magic and poetry,which is why I urge you to pay tribute to him in the best possible way: we need to get closer to his books, read them and reread them and allow those words to continue to live on in our homes, our minds and our hearts,” President Santos said during the tribute.
“Gabo wasn’t just a writer, nor was he just the only Colombian Nobel prize winner until now, Gabo committed himself to the country, he was always concerned with justice, education, and above all the achievement of peace, he searched for it, worked for it and we will continue this task in his memory,” President Santos said, emphasizing the peace process his administration has inittaed wit the Farc guerrilla.
At the end of the ceremony, a ‘vallenato’ group played some of Garcia Marquez’ favorite tunes, a performance reminiscent of that October 21st in Stockholm when Colombia stood out for its literary masterpieces instead of violence.