Was Pablo Neruda Poisoned by Pinochet?

Jack Bedrosian

On Monday, a team of medical experts exhumed the body of Pablo Neruda, the famed Chilean poet, Nobel Laureate and political activist who died 40 years ago.It was long believed that Neruda died of prostate cancer. But allegations made two years ago by Neruda's former driver, Manuel Araya, prompted Chile's Communist Party to request a judicial order from the courts to have Neruda's body exhumed and examined for indications of foul play. In an interview with the BBC on Monday, Araya recalled a phone conversation he had with Neruda on September 23, 1973: "While we were there we received a phone call from Neruda in the clinic. "He said 'Come back here quickly! While I was sleeping a doctor came in and gave me an injection in the stomach.'" "Neruda died at around 22:30 that evening."Many Chileans wonder if Neruda's case could be another in the long line of political murders carried out under General Augusto Pinochet's right-wing dictatorship.

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