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  • Chilean poet Pablo Neruda

    Chilean poet Pablo Neruda | Photo: EFE

Published 25 September 2017

"Soon we will confirm that Pablo Neruda was assassinated," said Neruda's nephew.

The cause of death of iconic Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is set to be discussed at an expert panel in October in Santiago.

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The panel will be led by investigators from Spain, Denmark, France, the United States, Canada and Chile.

The investigators will analyze Neruda's remains to determine whether he died of prostate cancer as is recorded on his death certificate — or whether he was murdered.

Neruda's family claim the Nobel Prize winner, whose real name was Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto, was poisoned by military agents of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, possibly due to his writings or his communistic beliefs.

The discussion which will be held in the nation’s capital from October 16 to 20 and will remain confidential until a conclusion has been made.

"The first four days will reconstruct the case in the field, giving the scientists an excellent opportunity to learn about the events occurred around the death of my uncle 44 years ago," said Reyes Muñoz, Neruda's nephew.

"Soon we will confirm that Pablo Neruda was assassinated," he added.

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According to Munoz, the team of scientists will deliver their findings to Mario Carroza, the special minister in human rights cases.

In November 2015, the Chilean government showed the first sign of interest in the case, acknowledging that there may have been some suspicious events surrounding the poet’s death.

A report from the poet’s personal assistant and chauffeur, Manuel Araya, triggered the first investigations into Neruda’s death.

Preliminary analysis of the poet’s remains showed traces of gold staphylococcus and an unusual bacteria on the bones, a foreign residue which researchers assure is not at all connected to prostate cancer.

“I can say that these results are far more detailed than when the first panel was made. They are very specialized people,” said Reyes.

“We as lawyers have long ago smelled the death of my uncle was incited by third parties and we hope that the final opinion of the Panel of International Experts shows that Pablo Neruda was killed,” he said.

Neruda authored a collection of poetry titled “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.” He died on September 23, 1973 in Santa Maria clinic in Santiago.

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