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August 28, 2014
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Juan Gelman's ashes scattered in Mexico

The ashes of deceased poet Juan Gelman were this weekend scattered in a stream close to Mexico City, according to the city's secretary of culture, fulfilling the final wishes of the legendary Argentine writer.

Friends and family of the poet gathered on Saturday in the village of Nepantla, where in 1651 Mexican writer and religious figure Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was born and where a cultural centre in her name currently stands.

In that corner, according to Secretary Eduardo Vázquez, and surrounded by the Popocatépelt and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, is "where Juan Gelman wanted his ashes to be scattered," said the civil servant, who accompanied the writer's widow Mara Lamadrid to the ceremony.

"Mara decided to throw the ashes from a bridge so that they fell into a small stream that flows around the cultural centre dedicated to the poet [De la Cruz]," Vázquez further explained, adding that those present read poetry and drank wine.

Gelman, winner of the Cervantes Literature Prize in 2007, passed away last Tuesday in Mexico City, at 83 years of age.

His body was cremated in a funeral home in the same city, where he had lived for the last 25 years after going into exile during Argentina's last military dictatorship (1976-83).
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