Poet Pablo Neruda Wasn't Poisoned: Tests

But family says Chilean case isn't closed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2013 2:00 PM CST

(Newser) – The four-decade mystery of whether Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda was poisoned was seemingly cleared up today, when forensic test results showed no chemical agents in his bones. But his family and driver were not satisfied and said they'll request more tests. Neruda died under suspicious circumstances in the chaos that followed Chile's 1973 military coup. The official version is that the poet and leftist politician died of cancer. But Neruda's driver and aide has said for years that dictatorship agents injected poison into the poet's stomach while he was bedridden at the Santa Maria clinic in Santiago.

His body was exhumed in April to determine the cause of his death. "No relevant chemical substances have been found that could be linked to Mr. Neruda's death," the head of Chile's medical legal service said as he read the test results of the seven-month investigation. But family members and friends said the poet's case remains unsolved. "The Neruda case doesn't close today," said a Chilean Communist Party lawyer. "We're going to request more samples. They referred to chemical agents, but there are no studies about biological agents. A very important chapter has closed ... but this is not over." (Read more Pablo Neruda stories.)

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