A team of specialists began the final phase of an investigation on Tuesday that has been trying to clarify one of the Chile’s Most Enigmatic Mysteries: if in 1973 Chilean poet and Nobel Prize for literature Paul Neruda died of disease or was assassinated by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“We are advertising portals to put an end to an investigation that seems transcendental to us”, said Mario Carroza, national coordinator judge for human rights, after the inauguration ceremony of the new work cycle of judicial and medical experts.
Neruda, who had been the Chilean ambassador to France during Salvador Allende’s government, died on September 23, 1973 in Santiago de Chile, 12 days after the military coup.
The official version provided by the Pinochet dictatorship says that the author of You hate elementals Y Twenty love poems and a song of despair He died in a clinic in the capital of prostate cancer that afflicted him. On that occasion, after toxicological tests, they denied that Neruda had been poisoned.
However, in October 2017, a group of 16 experts confirmed he did not die of cancer. Since he was unable to determine the exact cause of his death, an investigation was launched into a toxin, the “Clostridium botox”, found in the poet’s remains.
Now, local and international experts have started a new series of meetings at the Palace of the Courts of Santiago to analyze the results of a series of studies to which the remains of the Chilean poet have been subjected.
They will assess whether there is enough evidence to establish whether this toxic substance caused Neruda’s death and establish how and who inoculated him to Neruda while he was hospitalized in a private clinic in Santiago.
“We need to see if there are really those responsible for this intervention, that is, if there are third parties. If these third parties are indeed identifiable, then decisions relating to their responsibilities will have to be made,” said Carroza. .
The specialists intend to conclude the investigation March 7thwhen they deliver the final report to Judge Paola Plaza, who directs the investigation and will decide the steps to follow after completing this stage.
“It gives me the impression that (the evidence) will lead to conclusions that can be definitive so that the magistrate who is currently in charge of the investigation can make a final decision” on the case, Carroza explained.
Pablo Neruda: One death, many doubts
The investigation into the cause of Neruda’s death began after his former driver, Manuel Araya, told the press in 2011 that the poet may have been poisoned by the Pinochet dictatorship, which resulted in more than 3,200 deaths and some 38,000 tortures , according to official data.
In 2013, after the exhumation of Neruda’s remains, studies conducted in Chile and abroad uncovered a “golden staphylococcus,” a highly infectious bacterium that can be lethal, but was not conclusive evidence to determine whether this was the cause of death. .
Neruda died at the age of 69. His health had deteriorated when he was preparing to leave the country after Pinochet’s coup against the socialist president Salvador Allende, with whom the poet was a close friend.
An aircraft provided by the Mexican embassy was waiting for the poet to leave Chile to be taken to Mexico as an exile.
Neruda, the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature, was in a Santiago clinic where medical reports indicated he had died of cancer.
Former president Eduardo Frei Montalva (1964-1970) died in 1982 in the same clinic where Neruda also died nine years earlier. The Frei case was also investigated as it occurred under the Pinochet regime.
The final investigation into Neruda’s death comes as 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Pinochet’s military coup.
The dictator, who in 1989 tried to validate his permanence at the head of the Executive through a plebiscite (No was imposed, with 55% of the votes), continued to participate in military and civilian life until 1997. He then faced various trials judicial and died on December 10, 2006.
With information from AFP