Pablo Neruda poisoned by Pinochet agents?

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Celebrated Chilean poet Pablo Neruda passed away at the age of 69 in 1973. It has been a long-held assumption that he died from a case of prostate cancer, but an investigation by prosecutors suggests another strong possibility: that Pablo Neruda was poisoned by Pinochet agents.

Prosecutors, and the case’s plaintiff lawyer, Eduardo Contreras, says there is new evidence showing he was likely murdered by agents of dictator Augusto Pinochet are claiming that one of South America’s most celebrated poets, Pablo Neruda, may have been murdered on the orders of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

In 2011, according to the poet’s driver, Manuel Araya, Neruda was allegedly killed. According to Manuel, the Nobel Prize-winning poet did not die of cancer, but was poisoned while being treated by agents of the Chilean  dictator.

Why would Pinochet want him killed?

Under President Salvador Allende, Neruda was a member of the Communist Party, a politician and a diplomat.

Neruda’s death was announced just twelve days after Pinochet seized power in a military coup. Lawyer Eduardo Contreras said that according to fresh evidence, the poet had been “silenced” because he was going to campaign against the Pinochet regime that saw the disappearance of 3,000 people with the help of death squads.

Mere hours before his death, according to Araya, the poet was given an unscheduled injection. Sometime after the injection, Neruda called Araya from the hospital and told him that he was feeling sick.

Amid growing suspicions that Pablo Neruda’s death was not due to cancer, in April this year, the poet’s body was exhumed at his home in Chile’s Pacific Coast.

Could the CIA have been involved?

Neruda at the time was reportedly under the care of Dr. Sergio Lopez. Lopez, however, stated that a different doctor was with him. He now claims that another doctor named Price was also with Neruda.

The prosecutors, according to the report,  said that the description of Doctor Price as mentioned by Dr. Draper matched to that of Michael Townley, a CIA double agent. Townley is known to have worked with the Chilean secret police under Pinochet. He has acknowledged having killed prominent Pinochet critics in Washington and Buenos Aires.

For Contreras, whoever the man was, “the important fact is that this was the person who ordered the injection” that allegedly killed Neruda.

Neruda’s former assistant Manuel Araya also said he believed the poet was poisoned by Pinochet’s agents.

The forensic examination of Pablo Neruda’s body for clues that he might have been  poisoned are being conducted by Chilean and international forensic scientists to certify claims of poisoning.

According to Patricio Bustos Streeter, director of Chile’s Legal Medical Service, toxins could be traced from the spongy part of the bone marrow. He added that the team had an advantage. Techniques to mask the toxins in the body did not exist four decades ago.

 

Written by: Douglas Cobb

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