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Gabriel Garcia Marquez waves upon his arrival on a train with his wife Mercedes Barcha, right, to Aracataca, on his first visit in 25 years to his hometown in northeastern Colombia on May 30, 2007. Image Credit: AP

Mercedes Barcha, who was credited by late husband and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez with making it possible for him to write his masterpiece ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude,’ has died at the age of 87.

Barcha, who married Garcia Marquez in 1958 and managed the couple’s finances through some hard times while the author wrote, died on Saturday in Mexico City, according to Mexico’s Culture Ministry. The Colombian couple had moved to Mexico in 1961; Garcia Marquez died in 2014.

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Barcha, who had been suffering from respiratory problems, was praised by Colombian President Ivan Duque, Mexican authorities and prominent figures in Latin American art and culture for her role as a muse and lifelong companion to Garcia Marquez. The celebrated writer was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 and is considered one of the most important Spanish-language writers of all time.

Barcha was the love of Garcia Marquez’s life, Duque tweeted.

“I had the privilege of meeting Mercedes Barcha. Great conversationalist, cheerful, critical, cultured, infallible in her opinions. A great and beautiful woman,” Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s mayor, said on Twitter.

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Mercedes Barcha, center, widow of Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez is accompanied by her sons Gonzalo, left, and Rodrigo as they stand next to the urn containing his ashes during an homage to Garcia Marquez in the Palace of Fine Art in Mexico City on April 21, 2014. Image Credit: AP

Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez said that with Barcha’s death, “a whole literary era is left behind, and the memory of a close friend of many happy years of talks, surprises, long stories and sleepless nights remains.”

Jorge Eduardo Ritter, a former Panamanian foreign minister who was a friend of Garcia Marquez, wrote on Sunday: “In no small measure how much we owe to the writer, he and his readers owe it to her. They are together again.”

Barcha is survived by her two sons with Garcia Marquez, Gonzalo and Rodrigo Garcia Barcha.