The Chilean court ordered, this Tuesday (20), the reopening of the investigation to clarify the causes of the death of poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, who is believed to have been poisoned by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1973.

The Court of Appeals revoked the closure of the investigation adopted in December by judge Paola Plaza, and began new investigations and investigations in an attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding Neruda’s death.

The court ordered the “reopening of the investigation” and the carrying out of the “steps requested by the complainants” that “may contribute to clarifying the facts”, says the decision released by the Judiciary.

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The appeal was filed by Neruda’s nephews, and by the Communist Party, where the poet and 1971 Nobel Prize winner for Literature was active. Neruda died on September 23, 1973, 12 days after the coup d’état in Chile. He was 69 years old and had prostate cancer.

The judicial investigation into his death began after, in 2011, his former driver, Manuel Araya, reported to the press that the poet may have been poisoned by the Pinochet dictatorship, which left more than 3,200 dead and around 38,000 tortured, according to official numbers.

Although Neruda suffered from cancer, he was not terminally ill, according to Araya’s version, who died on June 21 last year. “The investigation was not exhausted, and, therefore, the investigation must be reopened in this process in which the death of Pablo Neruda is being investigated,” said Manuel Luna, lawyer for the Communist Party, when commenting on the court decision.

“We consider that there has been a major advance, we have managed to reestablish an investigation that should provide precise advances in determining the participation of third parties in the death of Pablo Neruda”, added the jurist.

New skills

Among the measures ordered by the Court is “a new graphotechnical examination in relation to the death certificate that would have been extended by Dr. Vargas Salazar”, in which it is said that Neruda died as a result of the metastasis caused by the prostate cancer that affected him.

In addition, new witnesses and an expert are cited in the study of the bacteria “costridium botulinum”, which is believed to have been inoculated into Neruda and which may have eventually caused his death. In relation to this, the Court ordered to carry out a “meta-expertise that allows reviewing and interpreting the results of the expertise carried out by experts from the Universities of McMaster and Copenhagen”, who analyzed remains extracted from the poet’s exhumed body.

Such investigations were unable to determine whether or not the bacteria killed him or whether he was inoculated. Neruda was one of the main opponents of the Pinochet regime, which had deposed the government of socialist president Salvador Allende, close to the Nobel Prize.

Mexico had made a plane available to take the author of “Canto Geral” to the country, as soon as he was discharged from a private clinic where he had been admitted due to complications from prostate cancer. “The seven investigations that the Court ordered to be carried out and all those that derive precisely from what is determined in these investigations, are an important advance in clarifying the truth of the facts”, said the Communist Party lawyer.

Edition: AFP


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