No Foul Play in Death of Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda

Contradicting initial reports, Spanish researchers have found no evidence of foul play behind Pablo Neruda’s death.

1 min read
Pablo Neruda (Courtesy:

Spanish researchers investigating death of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in the early ’70s to determine if he was poisoned, have found no conclusive evidence of foul play, according to an initial report handed to the investigating judge.

The Chilean government reopened the investigation in January, with new tests designed to look for protein damage caused by chemical agents, suggesting poisoning.

Forensic experts at the Universidad de Murcia found three types of protein in the remains of the Nobel laureate, two of which could be explained by advanced prostrate cancer, said the report accessed by Reuters on Thursday.

The source of the third protein was not immediately clear, but could be due to natural causes such as infection, or posthumous manipulation of the remains, the report said. An expert panel will now examine the evidence, while a further genomic analysis is still pending.

Neruda, famed for his passionate love poems and staunch communist views, is presumed to have died of cancer, days after a coup in 1973 that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. However, the poet’s chauffeur has claimed that Pinochet’s agents took advantage of Neruda’s illness to inject poison into his stomach as he lay in hospital. Initial tests on his exhumed body in 2013 found no evidence of poison.

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