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News of a Kidnapping | Gabriel García Márquez


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THIS ASTONISHING BOOK by the Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez chronicles the 1990 kidnappings of ten Colombian man and women–all journalists but one–by the Medellín drug boss Pablo Escobar. The carefully orchestrated abductions were Escobar’s attempt to extort from the government its assurance that he, and other narcotics traffickers, would not be extradited to the United States if they were to surrender.


The book recounts the kidnapping, imprisonment, and eventual release of a handful of prominent figures in Colombia in the early 1990s by the Medellín Cartel, a drug cartel founded and operated by Pablo Escobar.

The book begins with an account of the abductions of Maruja Pachón and Beatriz Villamizar de Guerrero the evening of 7 November 1990. People presume that Maruja was kidnapped because her sister is Gloria Pachón, widow of the journalist and New Liberalism founder Luis Carlos Galán. Beatriz is Maruja’s sister-in-law and her personal assistant.

The book then examines the first in a series of related kidnappings. On 30 August 1990, Diana Turbay, director of the TV news program Criptón and magazine Hoy x Hoy, was abducted along with four members of her news team. They include editor Azucena Liévano, writer Juan Vitta, and camera operators Richard Becerra and Orlando Acevedo. German journalist Hero Buss was also with them when they were taken. Turbay was the daughter of former Colombian president and Liberal Party leader Julio César Turbay. She died, likely by friendly fire, on 25 January 1991 in a police rescue raid on the compound where she was being held

The kidnappings on 18 September 1990 of Marina Montoya and Francisco Santos Calderón, editor in chief of El Tiempo newspaper, are also recounted.


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