Bogotanos gathered in the capital’s Plaza Bolivar on Tuesday to pay their respects to Colombia’s Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez.
The Aracataca-born author, poet and journalist died on Thursday, April 17, aged 87.
A memorial service was held in Bogotá’s cathedral five days later.
Among those who came to pay tribute was President Juan Manuel Santos, who spoke of his admiration for “a man of profound convictions, concerned with justice, education and especially peace.”
The service, which began with Mozart’s Requiem, was televised live on national television and shown on large screens outside the cathedral.
Despite Gabo, as he is affectionately known, being adored throughout the country, few people made their way to a grey and wet Plaza Bolivar, where the Colombian flag was flying at half mast. There was little evidence in the square itself of anything out of the ordinary, with none of the colour and character that characterise his literature.
Santos called for citizens to pay homage to Márquez by getting to know his work. The president claimed that within it “lives Colombia’s national essence”.
Colombia’s head of state lauded a national icon who “looked for peace, worked for peace and always wanted a peaceful Colombia.”
He continued by saying: “in his honour, we will not give up on that task”.
A formal celebration was held in Mexico City, where Márquez lived, on Monday, April 21.
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