Suspicions grow that Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was murdered by Pinochet regime
An international team of 13 experts will attempt to determine the origin of a massive Staphylococcus aureus infection in the Nobel laureate’s remains, which was identified in May by forensic scientists at the Universidad de Murcia in Spain.
Doubts have surrounded the cause of Neruda‘s 1973 death since his former driver claimed the poet was given a mysterious injection in his chest at the Santiago clinic where he was being treated for prostate cancer.
Neruda, who had been planning to leave for Mexico to lead the opposition to Pinochet’s regime, died hours after the injection. He was 69.
The cause of death was given as advanced prostate cancer, but in 2013 officials exhumed his body after a request from the Chilean Communist Party, of which Neruda was a member.
Chile’s forensic medicine service ruled that “no relevant chemical agents” could be linked to his death.
But the Spanish study has rekindled his family’s suspicions.
Chilean officials said a group of Chilean, Spanish, American, Canadian and Danish experts would now analyze the bacteria’s DNA.
“The main objective of the investigation is to determine whether he died of natural causes or because of outside intervention,” said Rodrigo Lledo, head of the Chilean interior ministry’s human rights program.
He told a press conference that the strain of bacteria found in Neruda‘s remains does not occur naturally and may have been “grown in a laboratory.”
Neruda, who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in literature, died on September 23, 1973, 12 days after Pinochet ousted socialist president Salvador Allende in a coup, installing a brutal regime that killed some 3,200 opponents over 17 years.
You may be interested
Costa Rica extends coronavirus travel restrictions through April 30Alejandro Zúñiga - April 6, 2020
Costa Rica has extended its entry restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic until April 30. Through at least the…
Costa Rica ‘has not had an intense increase in cases,’ Health Ministry saysAlejandro Zúñiga - April 6, 2020
Costa Rica has confirmed 467 total cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Monday afternoon. The figure marks…
Costa Rica studies international response to Nicaraguan coronavirus inactionAFP and The Tico Times - April 6, 2020
Costa Rica is studying international actions to monitor Nicaragua's response to the novel coronavirus, as the government has not ordered…