At 63, Gabriel Garcia Marquez Had an Affair—and a Daughter

AP confirms what was an open secret among family
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 18, 2022 9:05 AM CST
At 63, Gabriel Garcia Marquez Had an Affair—and a Daughter
Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans and reporters outside his home on his 87th birthday in Mexico City, on March 6, 2014.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

(Newser) – For decades renowned Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez kept the public from knowing about an intimate aspect of his life: He had a daughter with a Mexican writer, with whom he had an extramarital affair in the early 1990s. The closely guarded secret was published by Colombian newspaper El Universal on Sunday and confirmed to the AP by two relatives of the Nobel Prize-winning author, who is famous for novels like One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. García Márquez died in Mexico City in 2014, where thousands of his readers lined up to see his casket in a concert hall.

He was married for more than five decades to Mercedes Barcha and the couple had two children named Rodrigo and Gonzalo. They lived in Mexico City for much of their lives. El Universal said that in the early 1990s García Márquez had a daughter with Susana Cato, a writer and journalist who worked with García Márquez on two movie scripts and who also interviewed him for a 1996 magazine story. Cato and García Márquez named their daughter Indira (pictured here): She is now in her early 30s and uses her mother's surname. Some family members said they had not spoken about the writer's daughter previously out of "respect" for Mercedes Barcha who died in August 2020.

Gabriel Eligio Torres García, a nephew of the Colombian writer, told the AP that Indira Cato's mother had also been discreet about her daughter's lineage, to keep her away from the media spotlight. Shani García Márquez, one of the writer's nieces, told the AP that she had known for years about her cousin, but had not mentioned her to the media because her parents always asked her to be discreet about her uncle's personal life. "She leads a very artistic lifestyle, like many people in this family," she said of Indira Cato, a documentary producer in Mexico City who won several awards for a 2014 documentary on migrants passing through Mexico. "It makes us very happy that she has shined on her own." (Read more Gabriel Garcia Marquez stories.)

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