Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chile Admits Pablo Neruda May Have Been Killed by Pinochet Regime

"It is necessary to judge these hands stained
by the dead he killed with his terror;
the dead from under the beaten earth
are rising up like seeds of sorrow"
Pablo Neruda (Portrait of The Man)

For the first time the Chilean Government has acknowledged that Nobel prize winning poet Pablo Neruda may have been murdered by the regime of Augusto Pinochet during the US-backed military coup that led to Pinochet seizing power in September 1973.
A report in the online publication Common Dreams notes: 
Chile's Interior Ministry made the statement in response to a ministry document published in May and obtained by the Spanish newspaper El País. "It's clearly possible and highly probable that a third party" was responsible for Neruda's death, the document said, adding that he was either injected with or orally administered a foreign substance hours before his death.
Neruda died just 12 days after the 11 September 1973 military coup, in which Pinochet seized power and overthrew and murdered Salvador Allende, the democratically elected President of Chile. Neruda was a political ally and supporter of Allende. Around 3,000 people were killed during  the brutal 17-year-long Pinochet dictatorship.
It was long thought that Neruda died of prostate cancer, but claims by family members and his former driver led to suspicion that the Pinochet regime poisoned Neruda to avoid the possibility that he would become a voice of protest and dissidence overseas.
Neruda's driver claimed that while Neruda was making final preparations for exile in Mexico, doctors injected the poet with a substance, after which his health rapidly deteriorated.
In 2013 Chilean investigators exhumed Neruda's body for examination. 
The initial testing failed to turn up signs Neruda was poisoned, but the judge investigating the case ordered further tests  for substances that were not previously included in the examination. In January 2015, the Head of the Chilean Government's human rights departments said:
"There is initial evidence that he was poisoned and in that sense the signs point to the intervention of specific agents ... that could constitute a crime against humanity."

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