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Jeremiah de Saint-Amour - a disabled war veteran who becomes a photographer, mainly of children. He and Juvenal Urbino play chess together. His death by suicide marks the first page of the novel.
The Inspector - the man who examines Jeremiah de Saint- Amour’s body after his death and carries out Dr. Urbino’s instructions.
The Intern - a medical student studying forensics who examines Jeremiah de Saint-Amour’s body.
Don Galileo Daconte - an Italian immigrant who establishes an open-air cinema in the ruins of a seventeenth-century convent.
Aminta Dechamps - Dr. Lacides Olivella’s wife, who organizes his silver anniversary luncheon with great resourcefulness.
Dr. Lacides Olivella - Dr. Urbino’s most prominent student, who has a twenty-five year anniversary luncheon on the day Dr. Urbino dies.
The Archbishop - a religious leader who attends Dr. Lacides Olivella’s silver anniversary luncheon.
Digna Pardo - the servant to Fermina Daza and Dr. Urbino, who discovers him dying.
Dr. Urbino Daza - the first son of Fermina Daza and Juvenal Urbino, who becomes a doctor like his father and grandfather.
Transito Ariza - mother of Florentino Ariza, who ran a notions shop and later practiced usury on the ladies of the decaying aristocracy. She is an indulgent mother for her son, Florentino Ariza. She ends up senile, thinking she is a character in a children’s story. She gives away all the hoarded jewels and then dies.
Lotario Thugut - a German émigré who is the telegraph operator at the Postal Service, and who gives music lessons in the home. He is a father figure for Lorenzo Daza. He introduces him to promiscuous sexuality in a transient hotel (house of prostitution) which he ends up owning. He also gets him started in the telegraph business.
Lorenzo Daza - Fermina’s father, an ex-mule driver, who is reputed to be a horse thief. After his wife’s death, he decides to make enough money to set Fermina Daza up as a great lady. He demonstrates his cruelty when he banishes his penniless sister, Escolastica, upon finding that Fermina has been conducting a love affair by letters. He ends up banished from the city for epic swindling.
Escolastica - Fermina’s aunt who raises her after Fermina’s mother dies. She helps Fermina in her love affair with Lorenzo Ariza and is punished with banishment. She is said to have died in the Water of God leprosarium.
Uncle Lisimaco Sanchez - the brother of Fermina Daza’s mother. He lives in Valledupar, where Fermina and her father stop on their journey.
Hildebranda Sanchez - Fermina Daza’s cousin, who is two years her senior. She helps heal her from saddle sores and commiserates her on her loss of love. She is in love with a married man twenty-five years older than she and can only satisfy her love with furtive glances. She marries to an ex- soldier, who dearly loves her, and has many children. A life- long friend to Fermina Daza, she lives on a ranch until she is over one hundred years old.
Fermina Sanchez - Fermina Daza’s mother who dies when Fermina is six years old.
Euclides - a twelve-year boy, who dives for tourist's coins. Florentino Ariza hires him to help him excavate the treasure of a sunken Spanish galleon. He swindles Florentino by making him believe there is actually a sunken treasure.