For decades, renowned Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez kept the public from 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 a Colombian newspaper The universal and that confirmed Associated Press by two relatives of the Nobel laureate famous for novels like A hundred years of loneliness and Love in the time of cholera.
García Márquez died in Mexico City in 2014, where thousands of his readers queued to see his coffin in a concert hall. He was married to Mercedes Barcha for more than five decades and the couple had two children named Rodrigo and Gonzalo. They lived much of their lives in Mexico City.
El Universal said that García Márquez had a daughter in the early 1990s with Susana Cato, a writer and journalist who worked with García Márquez on two screenplays and also interviewed him for a magazine story in 1996. Cato and García Márquez named their daughter Indira: she is now in her early 30s and takes her mother’s last name.
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Shani García Márquez, one of the writer’s nieces, told the Associated Press that she had known about her cousin Indira for years but had not mentioned her to the media because her parents always asked her to keep her uncle’s private life discreet.
Gabriel Eligio Torres García, who is also a nephew of the Colombian writer, said he had been in contact with Indira Cato through social media, although he never met her in person.
“My cousins Rodrigo and Gonzalo casually told me about her during a reunion,” he said.
Other members of García Márquez’s family, quoted by El Universal, said they had previously not spoken about the writer’s daughter out of “respect” for Mercedes Barcha, who died in August 2020. Torres García said that Indira Cato’s mother, Susana, was also discreet about her daughter’s parentage to keep her out of the media spotlight.
Indira Cato is now a documentary film producer based in Mexico City. She won multiple awards for a 2014 documentary about migrants transiting Mexico.
García Márquez’s family said they did not want to share their contact details because they were not authorized to do so, and the Associated Press could not independently contact Indira Cato.
“She leads a very artistic lifestyle, like a lot of people in this family,” said Shani García. “It makes us very happy that she shone on her own.”