Was Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda Poisoned?


Oakland Ross in The Star [h/t: Pablo Policzer]:

What — or who — killed Pablo Neruda?

Nobody knows for certain, but the world may soon find out.

This Sunday or Monday, the celebrated but long-dead poet is supposed to rise from the tomb — and maybe, just maybe, he will speak.

In a decision that may well owe more than a little to the expert opinion of three Canadian toxicologists, an investigating judge named Mario Carroza has ordered the removal of Neruda’s body from its grave near the Nobel laureate’s home at Isla Negra on Chile’s Pacific coast, following nearly 40 years of interment in two different locations.

The purpose: to try to determine whether the poet was poisoned, as many now suspect.

A committed socialist and long-time Communist party member, Neruda died just 12 days after the military coup in September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected government of Marxist president Salvador Allende.

Amid mounting suspicion of foul play, the Chilean Communist party has spearheaded a campaign for a judicial investigation.

It has also demanded the exhumation of the poet’s remains, so that they may be tested for evidence of poisoning.

Last month, Carroza ordered that the disinterment go ahead, but there continues to be some uncertainty about who will be responsible for analyzing Neruda’s corpse and whether foreign experts, including three Canadians, will be involved.