In The News

Remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda exhumed

Remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda exhumed

THE remains of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda have been exhumed in a bid to establish if he was murdered in 1973.

The Nobel Prize winner’s death has always been attributed to cancer, but allegations have been made that he was given a lethal injection while in hospital.

His death, at the age of 69, took place 12 days after General Augusto Pinochet led a coup against President Salvador Allende.

Mr. Neruda, who had been in hospital to receive treatment for prostrate cancer, had been a member of the Communist Party and was a supporter of the ousted president. He had been planning to leave Chile and oppose the new military regime from exile in Mexico. 

The allegation of murder has been made by Manuel Araya, who was Mr. Neruda’s driver and personal assistant,.

Mr. Araya has claimed the poet telephoned from hospital to say he had been given an injection while he was asleep. Within hours of the call, Mr. Neruda was dead.

The poet’s remains were exhumed from a grave in the garden of his former home, about 75 miles from the capital Santiago. Scientific tests will now been carried out, but it is expected to be some time before the results are known.

Mr. Neruda is regarded as one of the great figures in Latin American literature.

To listen to a reading of Mr. Neruda’s poem Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines, click here.

View previous In the News items: Robert Zildjian of cymbals fame passes away, Tributes are paid to great Irish actor, Jane Henson of Muppets fame passes away, Musician and critic Solly Lipsitz passes away, Record producer Phil Ramone passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Richard Griffiths, Former Elvis backing singer Gordon Stoker passes away, Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards passes away, Tributes are paid to trumpet player Derek Watkins, Jazz musician Bebo Valdes passes away, Horror writer James Herbert passes away, Bobby Smith from the Detroit Spinners passes away, Comedy actor Frank Thornton passes away, Jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot passes away, Comedian Norman Collier passes away, Black Death burial ground unearthed in London, Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passes away, Last of the plotters against Hitler passes away, Tributes are paid to former sports presenter Tony Gubba, Welsh born Princess Lilian of Sweden passes away, Canadian country legend Tom Connors passes away, Tributes are paid to jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball, Rock guitarist Alvin Lee passes away, Bobby Rogers of The Miracles passes away, Tributes are paid to former businessman Sir George Quigley, Remains are returned to Donegal after 180 years, Classical pianist Van Cliburn passes away, Former Temptations singer Richard Street passes away, Former aircraft company chief Sir Philip Foreman passes away, Tributes are paid to the designer of the Daleks, Award winning animator Bob Godfrey passes away, Kevin Ayers of sixties band Soft Machine passes away, Beatles pay tribute to early collaborator Tony Sheridan, Gameshow host Derek Batey passes away, Tributes are paid to the actor Richard Briers, American country singer Mindy McCready is dead at 37, Tributes are paid to screenwriter Alan Sharp, Film special effects expert Petro Vlahos passes away, Government agency updates service for bereaved relatives, Dave Clark Five member Rick Huxley passes away, Tributes are paid to table tennis player who helped make history, Tributes are paid to movie makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, Onedin Line star Peter Gilmore passes away, Actor Robin Sachs passes away, Remains found beneath carpark are those of King Richard III, Funeral of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie takes place, Tributes are paid to former New York mayor Ed Koch, Artist and writer Ceija Stojka passes away, Wildlife filmmaker Eamon de Buitlear passes away, Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passes away, Funeral takes place of Una Finnegan or Funeral takes place of veteran campaigner Inez McCormack

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.