Chile judge orders exhumation of 'legendary poet' Pablo Neruda's remains

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 09:30 hrs

A judge in Chile has ordered the digging up of poet Pablo Neruda's grave, as part of an inquest into his death in 1973.

The Nobel laureate died just 12 days after a military coup replaced the socialist president Salvador Allende with General Augusto Pinochet.

Neruda's family has always maintained that he died in a Santiago clinic of advanced prostate cancer, aged 69.

Chile started investigating allegations that Neruda may have been poisoned, in 2011. The date of the exhumation has not been fixed yet, the BBC reported.

The foundation that guards his legacy said in a statement that it had been informed by the authorities of the exhumation plans a few days ago.

It also stated that it expected that the operation to be executed "with the greatest possible respect and care" and that it would end "any doubts that might exist".

The current investigation was brought about after Neruda's former driver, Manuel Araya Osorio, said that agents had injected the poet him with poison at the clinic on the orders of General Pinochet. (ANI)

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