Experts Found Chilean Poet Neruda Was Poisoned, Nephew Says

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Forensic consultants have decided that Chilean poet Pablo Neruda died of poisoning almost 50 years in the past, a member of the family of the Nobel Prize winner stated Monday.

The revelation by Rodolfo Reyes, a Neruda nephew, is the most recent flip in one of many nice debates of post-coup Chile. The long-stated official place has been that Neruda died of issues from prostate most cancers, however the poet’s driver argued for many years that he was poisoned.

There was no affirmation of Reyes’ feedback from forensic consultants from Canada, Denmark and Chile who’re scheduled to publicly launch a report Wednesday on the reason for Neruda’s dying.

The public launch of the group’s discovering has been delayed twice this 12 months, first attributable to web connectivity problems with one of many consultants after which once more as a result of a decide stated the panel had but to achieve a consensus.

Workers place a portrait of Neruda with former President Salvador Allende at Neruda’s tomb in 2016 after he was reburied on Isla Negra, Chile. Forensic consultants had been anticipated to report on his causes of dying.

International forensics consultants a number of years in the past rejected the official reason for dying as cachexia, or weak spot and losing of the physique attributable to continual sickness — on this case most cancers. But at the moment they stated they’d not decided what did kill Neruda.

Reyes first revealed the knowledge to the Spanish information company EFE earlier Monday.

As a lawyer within the judicial case over his uncle’s dying, Reyes stated he has entry to the forensic report, which was carried out after the identical group of consultants stated in 2017 that there have been indications of a toxin within the late poet’s bones and a molar.

The lab exams concluded that the toxin was administered when the poet was alive, Reyes stated.

The report is about to be launched nearly 50 years after the dying of the poet and Communist Party member and 12 years after the beginning of a judicial investigation into whether or not he was poisoned, as his driver Manuel Araya maintains.

Araya advised AP earlier this month he was assured that the forensic findings would assist his assertion the poet died after being given “an injection in the stomach” on the clinic the place he was hospitalized. Araya stated he first heard that model of occasions from a nurse.

Neruda, who was 69 and affected by prostate most cancers, died within the chaos that adopted Chile’s Sept. 11, 1973, coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende and put Gen. Augusto Pinochet in energy.

Neruda’s physique was exhumed in 2013 to find out the reason for his dying however these exams confirmed no poisonous brokers or poisons in his bone. His household and driver demanded additional investigation.

In 2017, a group of worldwide scientists decided that Neruda didn’t die of most cancers or malnutrition, rejecting the official reason for dying however not saying what he did die of.

“The fundamental conclusions are the invalidity of the death certificate when it comes to cachexia as a cause of death,” Aurelio Luna, one of many panel’s consultants, stated at the moment. “We still can’t exclude nor affirm the natural or violent cause of Pablo Neruda’s death.”

Neruda, who was finest identified for his love poems, was a good friend of Allende, who killed himself moderately than give up to troops through the coup led by Pinochet.

Neruda was traumatized by the army takeover and the persecution and killing of his mates. He deliberate to enter exile, the place he would have been an influential voice in opposition to the dictatorship.

But a day earlier than his deliberate departure, he was taken by ambulance to a clinic in Chile’s capital of Santiago the place he had been handled for most cancers and different illnesses. Neruda formally died there Sept. 23, 1973, from pure causes.

But suspicions that the dictatorship had a hand within the dying remained lengthy after Chile returned to democracy in 1990.

Araya advised AP final month he nonetheless thinks that if Neruda “hadn’t been left alone in the clinic, they wouldn’t have killed him.”

He recalled that on Neruda’s directions, on Sunday, Sept. 23, the poet’s spouse, Matilde Urrutia, and he had been on the mansion to select up the suitcases that may be taken to Mexico the next day. In the center of the afternoon Neruda requested them to return again shortly. He died that very same evening.

During his life, Neruda accrued dozens of prizes, together with the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature, however in recent times criticism has appeared from feminist teams over a rape he dedicated within the Thirties and which he recounted in his e-book “I Confess That I Have Lived.” He is also criticized for abandoning his solely daughter, Malva Marina, as a result of she was born with hydrocephalus.