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Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez was born on March 6 1928 to Luisa Santiaga Marquez Iguaran and Gabriel Eligio Garcia in Aracataca Columbia Luisas parents did not approve of her marriage to Gabriel and Marquez the oldest of twelve children was sent to live with his maternal grandparents On December 6 in the Cienaga train station between 9 and 3000 striking banana workers were shot and killed by troops from Antioquia The incident was officially forgotten and omitted from Colombian history textbooks Although Marquez was still a baby this event was to have a profound effect on his writing When Marquez was eight years old his grandfather died At that time it was also clear that his grandmother who was going blind was increasingly helpless He was sent to live with his parents and siblings who he barely knew in Sucre A bright pupil he won scholarships to complete his secondary education at the Colegio Nacional There he discovered literature and admired a group of poets called the piedra y cielo stone and sky This group included Eduardo Carranza Jorge Rojas and Aurelio Arturo and their literary grandfathers were Juan Ramon Jimenez and Pablo Neruda In 1946 Marquez entered law school at the National University of Bogota There he began reading Kafka and publishing his first short stories in leading Liberal newspapers Marquezs literary career was sparked oddly enough by the long period of political violence and repression known in Colombia as la violencia On April 9 1948 the assassination of the Liberal presidential candidate led to three days of riots One of the buildings that burned was Marquezs pension and his manuscripts were destroyed along with his living quarters The National University was closed and Marquez was forced to go to the university in Cartagena and take up journalism to support himself In 1950 he abandoned his legal studies and began writing columns and stories for El Heraldo a Liberal newspaper He also began associating
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