Nobel Prize for Literature died 12 days after Pinochet took power; official version is death caused by cancer
Exhumation of the remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda showed that he was poisoned. Despite doubts about the circumstances of the artist’s death, the official version was that it was caused by prostate cancer. The information was released by the poet’s family on Monday (13.Feb.2023).
Neruda died at age 69, on September 23, 1973, 12 days after General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the government of President Salvador Allende, with whom the writer was close, and seized power. He was hospitalized at the Santa María Clinic in Santiago de Chile.
According to Rodolfo Reyes, the writer’s nephew, the tests showed a large amount of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum in Neruda’s organism. That would be indicative of poisoning.
“We found the bullet that killed Neruda and it was in his body. Who shot? We’ll find out soon enough, but there’s no doubt that Neruda was killed by direct third-party intervention.”, Reyes told the news agency EFE.
According to the family lawyer, Elizabeth Flores, when he died, “Neruda was not seriously ill, he just had cancer. He walked with difficulty, he was in pain, but he was not on the verge of death.”.
The exhumation of the remains of the Nobel Prize in Literature was ordered by the Chilean Justice 10 years ago. The decision was taken after Neruda’s driver, Manuel Araya, said he had answered a call from the writer. Agitated, the poet said he received an injection while sleeping. Hours later, Neruda died.
Samples of the remains were sent to 4 countries for analysis. In 2015, the newspaper The country published a document in which the Ministry of the Interior of Chile claimed to be “highly probable” the involvement of third parties in the death of the writer. Two years later, a team of 16 experts said they were 100% sure that Neruda did not die from complications from the cancer.