News / Americas

    Remains of Chilean Nobel Prize-Winning Poet Exhumed

    Rodolfo Reyes (L), grandnephew of Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, carries his coffin covered with the Chilean flag, inside the grounds of his house-museum after the exhumation of his remains in Isla Negra, about 106 km north of Santiago, April 8, 2013, in this picture provided by the Communications Division of the Judiciary.
    Rodolfo Reyes (L), grandnephew of Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, carries his coffin covered with the Chilean flag, inside the grounds of his house-museum after the exhumation of his remains in Isla Negra, about 106 km north of Santiago, April 8, 2013, in this picture provided by the Communications Division of the Judiciary.
    Reuters
    The body of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, dead nearly four decades, was exhumed on Monday after his former driver said the poet was poisoned under Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.

    Neruda, famed for his passionate love poems and staunch communist views, is presumed to have died from prostate cancer on Sept. 23, 1973.

    But Manuel Araya, who was Neruda's chauffer during the ailing writer's last few months, says agents of the dictatorship took advantage of his illness to inject poison into his stomach while he was bedridden at the Santa Maria clinic in Santiago.

    "We're hoping for a positive result because Neruda was assassinated. Pinochet made an error when he ordered Neruda be killed," said Araya.

    Neruda was buried in his coastal home of Isla Negra beside his third wife, Matilde Urrutia. His remains will be brought to Santiago for analysis. Some samples could be sent to laboratories abroad. Results are expected in coming months.

    Neruda was a supporter of socialist President Salvador Allende, who was toppled in a military coup on Sept. 11, 1973, nearly two weeks before the poet's death at age 69. Around 3,000 people are thought to have been killed by the brutal 17-year-long dictatorship that ensued.

    Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto, better known by his pen name Pablo Neruda, was a larger-than-life fixture in Chile's literary and political scene. While best known for his collection "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair," published in 1924, Neruda was also an important political activist during a turbulent time in Chile.

    He organized a ship to bring about 2,000 Spanish refugees fleeing the civil war there to Chile in 1939, campaigned for Allende and was ambassador to France during the socialist's presidency.

    The Andean country's intelligentsia frequently congregated in Isla Negra, as well as in his Santiago home "La Chascona" - so named for his then-mistress Urrutia's messy red hair - and La Sebastiana, his ship-themed home in the port town of Valparaiso.

    Democratically-elected Allende committed suicide in the presidential palace as it was under attack by the military, experts confirmed last year, amid accusations he had been murdered during the coup.

    Chilean courts are also investigating the death of ex-President Eduardo Frei Montalva, who is presumed to have died in 1982 of an infection after a hernia operation. Some say he was poisoned by Pinochet's agents.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Hundreds of Thousands of Brazilians Hold Gay Rights Parade

    Gay rights advocates in Brazil are pushing the congress to pass a law allowing Brazilians to legally identify themselves as the gender of their choice

    Haiti Braces for Trouble as Election Panel Report Is Due

    Haitians are preparing for trouble as electoral verification commission is due to deliver results of its monthlong review of last year's contested presidential and legislative elections

    Brazil Launches Manhunt for Alleged Gang Rapists

    Police identifies four of 30 suspects who gang raped teenager and posted video online

    'El Chapo' Lawyers Split on Extradition Case

    Lawyers can't agree on staving off extradition to US

    Colombia Rebels Release Three Journalists

    All three, including a Spanish correspondent working on a story about coca growers, were released Friday

    WHO Dismisses Changing Summer Olympics for Zika

    WHO says canceling or postponing the Olympics will not alter the international spread of Zika virus