The genius, popularity, and charisma of Gabriel García Márquez make him peerless among Spanish American writers of the second half of the twentieth century. The name Gabriel García Márquez is as synonymous with One Hundred Years of Solitude as is the name of Spanish novelist, playwright, and poet Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616) with Don Quixote. Grouping the names of García Márquez and Cervantes is not as arbitrary as it may seem. In fact, most literary oriented people around the world have come to associate the name of each of these authors, directly or indirectly, with one particular work out of the many that they wrote. Though Gabriel García Márquez, to date, is an active and prolific writer, he continues to be primarily associated with his 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
The life of García Márquez is filled with literary prizes, homages, honorary degrees, and friendship with world figures in literature, politics, and the Church. Among the list of friends most frequently mentioned by scholars are Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, British novelist Graham Greene, French President François Miterrand, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Panamanian nationalist General Omar Torrijos, and the Colombian priest Camilo Torres. Camilo Torres, a friend from García Márquez’s years in college, became a priest; baptized García Márquez’s first son, Gonzalo; and in the 1960s became a popular figure for turning priesthood into a form of rebellion (Liberation Theology). He was killed by the Colombian armed forces in 1966. Gabriel