Pablo Neruda 'did not die of cancer', say experts


Chilean poet Pablo Neruda did not die of cancer, experts say.

A visitor looking at a photo of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Santiago de Chile, Chile, July 12, 2013.

Panel members said they will continue to identify pathogenic bacteria that might have caused Neruda's death to determine if a third party was involved.

Those whispers gained greater volume last week when an expert panel analyzed some remains of Neruda and determined cancer cachexia couldn't have been the cause of death.

"What is certain, which is categorically 100% sure, it is that the certificate does not reflect the reality of the death", said at a press conference Dr. Aurelio Luna, in the name of the expert responsible for determining if the chilean poet was assassinated by the dictatorship of general Augusto Pinochet. Neruda officially died there September 23 from natural causes. The move generated some controversy among some of Neruda's most ardent supporters, including his nephew, Bernardo Reyes, who says that government officials never contacted his family regarding the exhumation, and called the entire affair "a circus that I do not want to be part of" in a statement to CNN Chile. Neruda was reburied in his favorite home overlooking the Pacific Coast previous year.

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Neruda, one of Chile's most famous sons and a close friend of socialist president Salvador Allende, as well as a diplomat and senator of the country's communist party at that time, died two weeks after Allende was ousted and killed during a US -backed military coup.

Neruda was best known for his love poems.

Neruda was traumatized by the military takeover and the persecution and killing of his friends. He then said that Nobel laureate for literature may have died as a result of a lethal injection rather than a cancer. When a US -backed military coup overthrew Allende and installed Pinochet in his stead, Neruda planned to leave the country for Mexico, where "he had been offered asylum", according to The Guardian. But suspicions that the dictatorship had a hand in the death remained long after Chile returned to democracy in 1990.

Death in 1982, in the same clinic, the ex-president Eduardo Frei (1964-1970), came for a routine operation and that could have been poisoned, has reinforced the thesis of a murder of the poet.

"Until the day I die I will not alter my story", Araya told the BBC in 2013.