International forensic experts delivered a report to justice officials in Chile today regarding the death of the South American country’s famous poet Pablo Neruda — some 50 years ago. A nephew of Neruda tells NPR that scientists found high levels of poison in the poet’s remains.
Scientists from Canada, Denmark and Chile examined bone and tooth samples from Neruda’s exhumed body. Neruda died in 1973, just days after the U.S.-backed coup that deposed his friend President Salvador Allende.
Rodolfo Reyes — a nephew of the Nobel Prize winning poet who has seen the report — says scientists found high levels of the bacterium that can cause botulism poisoning. He says that proves what he has said for 50 years — that his uncle was injected with the poison at a hospital immediately after the coup.
Scientists from Canada’s McMaster University say they couldn’t conclude if the bacterium killed Neruda, but did note political prisoners in Chile were poisoned with the same toxin in the 1980s. [Continue reading…]