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Over the course of the civil war, Colonel Aureliano Buendía fathers 17 sons by 17 different women. They are all brought at one time or another to the Buendía house and baptized with the first name Aureliano. They are distinguished by indelible Ash Wednesday crosses on their foreheads. They reappear in Macondo throughout the novel; Aureliano Triste sets up the ice factory his grandfather José Arcadio dreamed of and gets his half-brothers to repair their aunt Rebeca's dilapidated house. After the war, Conservatives relentlessly hunt them down and murder them. Aureliano Amador survives the longest, but is gunned down in front of the Buendía house because Aureliano (II) and José Arcadio (IV) fail to recognize him as one of their great uncles.

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