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Pablo Neruda To Be Exhumed In Chile: Court Orders Investigation Into Poet's Cause Of Death

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PABLO NERUDA EXHUMED EXHUMATION
In this Oct. 21, 1971 file photo, Pablo Neruda, poet and then Chilean ambassador to France, talks with reporters in Paris after being awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature. Neruda and his close friend, socialist President Salvador Allende, died almost simultaneously under suspicious circumstances in the chaos that followed the country's 1973 military coup. Now Chile's Communist Party is calling for the exhumation of the Nobel Prize-winning poet's body to see if he was poisoned, as many hav | AP
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SANTIAGO, Chile — The body of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda will be exhumed for an autopsy seeking clues to what killed him.

Neruda died days after the 1973 military coup that ended the life of his close friend, socialist President Salvador Allende. With Gen. Augusto Pinochet's forces killing prominent leftists, friends had a plane waiting to carry Neruda into exile.

Neruda was hospitalized with cancer at the time, but friends have told The Associated Press that the official cause of extreme malnutrition makes no sense because Neruda weighed 220 pounds (100 kilograms).

Forensic scientists have said it would be very difficult to determine from his remains whether drugs were given in doses big enough to kill him.

Still, the Pablo Neruda Foundation announced Friday that it supports Judge Mario Carroza's investigation.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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