Forensic experts determined that the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda He died of poisoning almost 50 years ago, a family member of the Nobel laureate said on Monday.

The revelation of Rodolfo Reyes, Neruda’s nephew, is the latest twist in one of Chile’s great post-coup debates. It has long been said official position it was that Neruda died of complications from prostate cancer, but the poet’s driver claimed for decades that he had been poisoned.

There was no confirmation of Reyes’ comments from medical examiners from Canada, Denmark and Chile, who plan to publicly release a report on Neruda’s cause of death on Wednesday.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda on February 14, 1952 in Capri, Italy.

AP/Mario Torrisi

The panel’s public release of its findings has been delayed twice this year: first because of Internet connectivity problems for one of the experts, and then again because a judge said the panel had not yet reached a consensus.

International medical examiners several years ago rejected the official cause of death as cachexia, or weakness and exhaustion of the body due to a chronic disease – in this case, cancer. But at the time, they said they had not determined what really killed Neruda.

In an interview with the Associated Press agency, Reyes said that forensic tests carried out in Danish and Canadian laboratories showed the presence of “a large amount of Cloristridium botulinum, incompatible with human life.” The powerful toxin can cause paralysis of the nervous system and death.

Earlier on Monday, Reyes disclosed this information to the Spanish news agency EFE.

As a lawyer in the legal case over his uncle’s death, Reyes said he had access to a forensic examination that was conducted after the same panel of experts said in 2017 that the late poet’s bones and molars showed signs of the toxin. .

Laboratory tests concluded that the toxin was injected while the poet was alive, Reyes said.

The report will be released nearly 50 years after the poet and Communist Party member’s death and 12 years after an inquest was launched into what his driver Manuel Araya claims he was poisoned.

Araya told the AP earlier this month that he was confident that the medical examiner’s findings supported his claim that the poet died after being “stabbed in the stomach” at the clinic where he was hospitalized. Araya said he first heard this version of events from a nurse.

Neruda, who was 69 and suffering from prostate cancer, died in the chaos that followed the September 11, 1973, coup in Chile that ousted President Salvador Allende and brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.

Neruda’s body was exhumed in 2013 to determine the cause of his death, but these tests did not show any toxic substances or poisons in his bones. His family and the driver demanded further investigation.

In 2015, the Chilean government said it was “very likely that a third party” was responsible for Neruda’s death. Last year, Neruda was reburied in his beloved home overlooking the Pacific coast.

In 2017, a team of international scientists determined that Neruda did not die of cancer or malnutrition, rejecting the official cause of death but not saying what he actually died of.

“The main findings are the invalidity of the death certificate when it comes to cachexia as the cause of death,” Aurelio Luna, one of the panel’s experts, said at the time. “We still cannot rule out or confirm a natural or violent cause of death for Pablo Neruda.”

Neruda, who was best known for his love poems, was a friend of Allende’s who killed himself rather than surrender to the army during the Pinochet-led coup.

Neruda was traumatized by the military capture and the persecution and killing of his friends. He planned to go into exile, where he would be an influential voice against the dictatorship.

But a day before his scheduled departure, he was taken by ambulance to a clinic in the capital of Chile, Santiago, where he was treated for cancer and other ailments. Officially, Neruda died there on September 23, 1973 of natural causes.

But suspicions that the dictatorship had a hand in the deaths lingered long after Chile returned to democracy in 1990.

Gonzalo Martínez Corbala, Mexico’s former ambassador to Chile during the bloody military coup, told the AP twice that he saw Neruda the day before he died and that his body weighed about 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Martinez spoke to the AP by phone in 2017, days before his death.

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

He recalled that on the instructions of Neruda on Sunday, September 23, the wife of the poet Matilda Urrutia and he were at the mansion to pick up the suitcases that would be taken to Mexico the next day. In the middle of the day, Neruda asked them to come back quickly. That same night he died.

Neruda won dozens of awards during his lifetime, including the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature, but in recent years has come under fire from feminist groups for the rape he committed in the 1930s, which he recounted in his book ” I confess that I have lived.’ .” He is also criticized for abandoning his only daughter, Malva Marina, because she was born with hydrocephalus.

Previous articleThe US provides little information on the mysterious craft
Next articleNikki Haley will run for president in the 2024 election