The author of “Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada” (Twenty love poems and a desperate song) died in the Santa Maria clinic, 12 days after Augusto Pinochet’s military coup against the Popular Unity government of President Salvador Allende, and on the eve of a scheduled trip to Mexico.
According to the dictatorship’s version, his death was due to prostate cancer, but there are suspicions about a possible poisoning, especially after discovering the presence of a toxin in his body.
In statements to Prensa Latina, Reyes referred to the large amount of botulinum found in the remains and in a molar of the poet. The lawyer considers that this toxin was inoculated. “For what reason and how did they did it? We don’t know,” he stated.
In 2017 a second group of experts found in Neruda’s body the toxin that produces botulism, a disease that attacks the nerves and can cause difficulty in breathing, muscle paralysis and even death.
“There are no doubts, there was an intention of third parties, ghost doctors, non-existent death certificate, a large amount of botulinum in his bones, contradictions, everything points that way”, he said.
The lawyer talked to Prensa Latina after the presentation of a preliminary report by an international panel of experts investigating the matter was suspended on Friday.
“It is shameful. I say it directly, it hurts me a lot, but we have to keep waiting,” he said.
Reyes referred to the difficulties in bringing together experts from Canada, Denmark, the United States and other countries, unlike in 2017 when they worked here in Chile and questions could be asked directly.
According to the organizers, this week’s hearing had to be suspended due to connectivity problems and will be rescheduled for Monday.
The experts will reveal if the clostridium botulinum bacteria, found in a molar of the poet, could have been inoculated or not and if there was intervention of third parties.
The investigation began in 2011, when the Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) filed a complaint, following the statements of Neruda’s driver, Manuel Araya, who claims that he was poisoned by chemicals.
Born on July 12, 1904, Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, known as Pablo Neruda, was a member of the central committee of the PCCh, senator of the republic, presidential pre-candidate and ambassador to France.
In 1971 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force gives life to the destiny and dreams of a continent.”
“Everyone wants to know the truth of Neruda’s death and this is what we must get to,” his nephew concluded.