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Case Closed November 12, 2013

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Alex Sawit

November 12, 2013




“Experts Investigating Pablo Neruda’s Death Rule Out Homicide”

That was the headline from the Latino Daily News. Their news story was the first one I read after authorities in Chile released their highly anticipated verdict last Friday (Nov. 8): that Pablo Neruda, Chile’s most iconic literary hero and one of the 20th century’s greatest poets, was not assassinated by his political enemies.

“Chilean and foreign experts who examined the remains of poet Pablo Neruda,” said the article, “ruled out the possibility that the winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature died of poisoning after Chile’s 1973 military coup, authorities said Friday.”

“No relevant chemical substances were found that could be related to his death,” revealed Chile’s chief medical examiner, Patricio Bustos, at the press conference. He explained that Neruda’s remains only “showed the presence of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancerous illnesses,” which is consistent with what Neruda was receiving as treatment for his prostate cancer at the time of his death.

“No forensic evidence has been found that would allow a legal medical ruling of death by unnatural causes in the case of Sr. Pablo Neruda,” Bustos told reporters, offering the world a definite conclusion after an exhaustive seven month investigation by the 15-member multinational forensic team.

“Neruda died on Sept. 23, 1973, 12 days after Gen. Augusto Pinochet toppled Chile’s Socialist government in a bloody coup,” continued the news article. “His death was officially blamed on cancer, but an investigation was opened in mid-2011 after a complaint was filed by Neruda’s Communist Party colleagues based on charges by former chauffeur Manuel Araya that the poet was murdered on Pinochet’s orders.”

Not everyone was satisfied with the verdict, however, as some family members and friends insist that the case remains unsolved. The Communist Party of Chile, which Neruda was a member of, vowed immediately after the announcement that it would request for more forensic samples in order to continue testing. “The Neruda case doesn’t close today,” said Communist Party lawyer Eduardo Contreras. “This is not over.”

It’s over. To Neruda fans around the world, especially those who call Cyrano their home, it’s time to close this case and move on to a new one.

One case, that is to say: twelve bottles, grand reserve, Chilean Carménère of course. Wherever you may be, just find that wine and enjoy a night of poetry reading among friends. It’s a fitting way to honor the maestro, great wine lover that he was, for adding an intriguing epilogue to his already remarkable life story.





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