Bill Clinton Meets with García Marquez on Colombia Visit


Visiting U.S. former President Bill Clinton met in Cartagena with Colombian head of state Juan Manuel Santos and literary icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and on Thursday joined Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro for a ride around that Caribbean city in an electric taxi, as The Latin American Herald Tribune reports.

Petro uploaded a photo to his Twitter account Thursday that shows him driving one of the vehicles of their entourage and Clinton next to him in the passenger seat.

The Clinton Foundation promotes environmentally sustainable policies and has supported the Bogota mayor’s office in its efforts to build up a fleet of electric public transport vehicles and create a large cities’ fund to finance climate change adaptation efforts.

On Tuesday night, at the beginning of his stay in Cartagena, Clinton attended a dinner hosted by Santos.

According to the daily El Tiempo, Santos and Clinton spoke during the meal about the Colombian government’s ongoing peace talks in Cuba with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the Andean nation’s largest guerrilla insurgency.

Clinton congratulated Santos on that initiative.


On Wednesday, Clinton walked around Cartagena’s historic downtown and visited 86-year-old Garcia Marquez, recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature, and his wife, Mercedes Barcha, at their home.

Clinton said afterward that the conversation centered on family and that Garcia Marquez recalled that he had met the former president’s daughter, Chelsea, 20 years ago and the two had had a long chat about his books.

The ex-head of state said the Colombian author was surprised then that a person so young (Chelsea was a teenager at the time) had read so much and was familiar with his work.

Clinton recalled that, a month after their literary discussion, Garcia Marquez sent his daughter all of his works that had been translated into English.

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