Mexico´s intelligence service spied on the writer Gabriel García Márquez for decades and considered him a Cuban agent, it emerged this week.
The defunct DFS agency bugged the Nobel laureate's phone and monitored his movements from 1967 after he moved to Mexico with his family. The authorities suspected the Colombian author of One Hundred Years of Solitude because of his leftist sympathies and friendship with Fidel Castro. Declassified documents published in the newspaper El Universal revealed the DSF kept a bulging file at least up until 1985, after which documents remain secret. It was era of the "dirty war" waged by rightwing Latin American governments against suspected subversives.
In a tapped conversation with the director of Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency, Jorge Timossi, Márquez mentioned he had made over the publishing rights for his book, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, to Cuba's communist government.
"The above proves that Gabriel García Márquez, besides being pro-Cuban and pro-Soviet, is a propaganda agent at the service of the intelligence agency of that country," a DFS document said in 1982. The same year he won the Nobel prize for literature.
The agency closely monitored the author's mediation between leftist movements and the French president, François Miterrand. It also kept tabs on Mexican writers such as Octavio Paz, who won the Nobel prize in 1990, and Salvador Novo.
Márquez, 82, affectionately known as Gabo throughout Latin America, divides his time between Mexico City and Cartagena in Colombia. He still visits Havana and has maintained his friendship with Castro.
His masterpiece Love in the Time of Cholera was made into a film but an effort to film his most recent novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, was derailed by objections to its alleged promotion of underaged sex.