Mexico City: Tributes poured on Friday for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel-winning Colombian author whose "magical realism" told epic stories of love, family and dictatorship in Latin America.
Marquez died on Thursday at the age of 87. Known affectionately as "Gabo," the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera was one of the world's most popular Latin American writers and godfather of a literary movement that witnessed a continent in turmoil.
The veteran journalist befriended Cuban leader Fidel Castro, was once punched by fellow Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and joked that he wrote to make his friends love him.
"One thousand years of solitude and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted.
He later declared three days of national mourning.
"The world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers," US President Barack Obama said, while French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to "a literary giant" who was "one of the most influential South American intellectuals of our time."
"Gabriel García Márquez was a voice of Latin America who became a voice of our world. His imagination has made us richer, and his passing away makes us poorer," said EU President Jose Manuel Barroso.