Feb 14, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
According to a relative of the late Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, forensic experts have determined that the Nobel Prize winner died as a result of poisoning nearly 50 years ago.
The revelation Monday by Neruda nephew Rodolfo Reyes is the latest turn in one of the great debates of post-coup Chile.
The official position has long been that Neruda died of prostate cancer complications, but the poet’s driver has long claimed that he was poisoned.
There has been no confirmation of Reyes’ comments from forensic experts from Canada, Denmark, and Chile, who are set to release a report on the cause of Neruda’s death on Wednesday.
The group’s findings were delayed twice this year, first due to one of the experts’ internet connectivity issues, and then again because a judge said the panel had yet to reach a consensus.
International forensic experts rejected the official cause of death as cachexia, or body weakness and wasting caused by chronic illness – in this case, cancer – several years ago.
However, they stated at the time that they had not determined what killed Neruda.
According to Mr. Reyes, forensic tests performed in Danish and Canadian labs revealed the presence of “a large quantity of Cloristridium botulinum, which is incompatible with human life.”
The powerful toxin can cause paralysis in the nervous system and death.
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