Santiago - Forty years
after the death of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, a judge has issued an order for
police to make a portrait of and find the man who prosecutors allege may have
Neruda's death was attributed at the time to prostate cancer but the
case's plaintiff lawyer, Eduardo Contreras, says there is new evidence showing
he was likely murdered by agents of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Contreras said Dr Sergio Draper, who originally testified that he was
with Neruda at the time of his death on 23 September 1973, is now saying there
was another doctor named "Price" with the poet.
But Price did not appear in any of the hospital's records as a treating
doctor and Draper said he never saw him again after the day he left him with
Neruda. Moreover Price's description of a blond, blue eyed, tall man, matches
Michael Townley, the CIA double agent who worked with Chilean secret police
Townley was taken into the US witness protection programme after
acknowledging having killed prominent Pinochet critics in Washington and Buenos
For Contreras, whoever the man was, "the important fact is that
this was the person who ordered the injection" that allegedly killed
Neruda's former assistant Manuel Araya also said he believed the poet
was poisoned by Pinochet's agents.
The Nobel Prize winner's body was exhumed on 8 April, and is being
analysed by Chilean and international forensic specialists.
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