On April 2013, the remains of Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda had been exhumed in a bid to determine the cause of his death after his assistant alleged he was murdered by Gen Augusto Pinochet's military regime.
Pablo Neruda's bones were interred in the garden of Isla Negra, his beloved beach house on Chile's Pacific coast. He is buried next to his wife and muse, Matilde Urrutia.
Four years later,the investigation into Pablo Neruda's probable cause of death, has found that Chile's most famous poet did not die of prostate cancer. The panel of experts focused on identifying pathogenic bacteria that might have caused his death. Forensic experts told a news conference in the capital Santiago, they were certain Neruda had not been killed by the disease.
Dr Aurelio Luna said they were "100% convinced" that the death certificate "does not reflect the reality of the death". The official version was that he died of cachexia, or weakness, and wasting of the body due to chronic illness — in this case cancer.
Luna added, "We still can't exclude nor affirm the natural or violent cause of Pablo Neruda's death."
The Nobel Laureate died in 1973 at the age of 69, less than two weeks after a military coup led by Chile's former dictator General Augusto Pinochet.
His former driver Manuel Araya maintains Neruda was poisoned by the secret service.The poet was suffering from prostate cancer, but it was not life-threatening - leading the experts to conclude a third party could have possibly been involved. They will now carry out tests on a toxin found in his remains.
In 2015, Chile’s government said it's “highly probable that a third party” was responsible for his death. Neruda was a supporter and personal friend of Chile's deposed socialist President, Salvador Allende. He was traumatized by the military takeover and the persecution and killing of his friends. The celebrated writer had planned to go into exile, where he would have been an influential voice against the dictatorship.