Interview with Carolina Rojas / "Clarin", Chile

 

 

Mexico City. - In an interview with Clarín.cl Carolina Rojas (1978), a contributor to the magazine n the Clarin of Argentina, speaking of Who Killed reports Neruda? and The Shadow of Neruda: "He was harassed after the military coup and his inner circle persecuted and tortured. Why not investigate if we said that Pablo Neruda died of cancer and now at least we know he did not die of their disease product. Then I decided to write the second article on the corrector and great friend of the poet, Homer Maple, assassinated in 1977, how many people knew his friend was kidnapped and concealer? Very little, I think it proves that Neruda were cornered near ".

For seven years he worked in the Nation Sunday, currently writes for Paula and other Chilean media, Carolina Rojas attended a workshop at the New Journalism Foundation of Gabriel García Márquez and last year was selected for the New Pens Prize with the story of Homer Arce: "He was the editor and best friend of Neruda, was kidnapped beaten until he collapsed and died the skull of a very cruel way, we're talking about a man who was an old man and he was abducted while collecting his retirement, he was interrogated what would you have asked? That's something we'll never know. This event takes place in February 1977, when repression was at its highest point. Furthermore, the driver of Neruda was imprisoned at the national stadium and Jaime Villa Grimaldi Maturana, say that at least there was a relentlessness with Neruda's inner circle. "

MC. - Revista Ñ The first came on October 4, 2003, the cover story was: "In the footsteps of Neruda", eight years later, on September 6, 2011, you published the article, "Who Killed Neruda? ". What was the reaction of the editors of n to introduce the news of the alleged murder of Neruda, how you put together the puzzle of your note?
CR. - The magazine, as cultural supplement has always been interested in this type of topics, I have written some stories and reports of Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, and other human rights issues. In the beginning of the case, the interest of the editors was immediate and he deserves a figure of the stature of Neruda. The proposal I made it, knowing that in Argentina there is a much greater interest than there is here, it is regrettable to say it-to publish human rights investigations.
After the first statements by Manuel Araya, I suggested to the editor of the literary supplement, the idea of deepening the sayings of Neruda's driver. First I set for reviewing documents for the reconstruction of the facts and then conduct interviews began with the idea of getting some new statements nurse or doctor who had his version. We agreed that the editor and one dead in a particular line, but we never thought we would take the statements of Sergio Draper, the doctor who administered the last medication to Neruda, Dipyrone according to the official.
The first part of the research was to review documents, photographs, newspaper archives, his death certificate. There appeared the first connections. The certificate said that Neruda was in a state of cachexia and this fact could be contrasted with a photograph of Neruda when he was dead, at first glance appears robust, still in good shape. Inaccuracies in the same press of that time, Pinochet served daily commit blunders: mentioned the shock and subsequent cardiac arrest soothing product other day and wrote something else. Then followed the interviews to your near and spoke to his nephew Rodolfo Reyes, Manuel Araya, and the prosecuting attorney in the case, Eduardo Contreras.

MC. - How readers in Chile received the report: "Who killed Neruda", do you sent letters, signs or you had some source?
CR. - I do not know if there were reactions in Chile, more that stakeholders and the high readership of the article, again, for some reason I do not drive, the Chilean media are not very interested in the case Neruda, but what happened was that if the article I wrote for Revista Ñ was included in the investigation of Judge Mario Carroza and Draper was called to testify. For plaintiff attorney Eduardo Contreras was a breakthrough in the case.
Nobody contacted me to give me some information, but I kept researching, I do not know if I must resolve the case, but it does prove that here there was at least negligent, persecution and not me, says Manuel Araya, and his story was corroborated by Matilde Urrutia in his book, and what other witnesses say my work is that, verify facts that Pablo Neruda was harassed after the military coup and his inner circle persecuted and tortured. Why not investigate if we said that Pablo Neruda died of cancer and now at least we know he did not die of their disease product. Then I decided to write the second article on the corrector and great friend of the poet, Homer Maple, assassinated in 1977, how many people knew his friend was kidnapped and concealer? Very little, I think it proves that Neruda were cornered near. Besides that hushed their stories.

MC. - You interviewed Sergio Draper, attending physician at Clinica Santa Maria on September 23, 1973 and told you the name of the painkiller injected ordered Neruda: "I recall was a dipyrone". Was it easy to locate and convince Dr. Draper to grant the interview?
CR. - It was easy to locate Sergio Draper, his wife gave me his email and he agreed to talk to me and give his version, which is what we did, we talked longer than it appears in the article, but no extension things was published in full and some data will be part of a future article. The journalists who research we like know there is a time, a point that luck can give us a hand. Draper answered my emails, the interview did not occur in the circumstances I would have expected: the doctor much darkened, raised his voice very upset, but at all times I kept asking him if he had administered painkillers or Neruda, whether or not he was the last person who had seen alive Neruda. He was willing to give his version of events, but with what happened contrapreguntas as a journalist know that can happen, it could have gone without answering anything. While it was a difficult situation, the part where you feel intimidated are an occupational hazard. After calming down, he said it would be the last time we talk about the issue and kept his word. Of course, all the questions they did as it should, with great respect, he wanted to tell his side that contradicted the statements of all witnesses, also defended the Clinic Santa Maria, it is their right, that's what did, I liked it or not its tone.

MC. - After the exclusive Ñ, Dr. Sergio Draper refuses to talk to the press, "Associated Press tried to communicate, unsuccessfully, with Draper calling the clinic and the College of Physicians of India" (AP 13 / 01/2012). You went back to interview Dr. Draper?, Did you read his two court hearings and the report of "The Third" in September 1975?
CR. - I did not try to talk to him, there is a part of the interview that I've saved for another article I read recently its 1975 report, my conclusion by the time I put it away, for all items worked with facts, statements and documents. But supposedly there is obvious here, work above all else with the presumption of innocence, always. What it is for me to continue researching and working as journalists say: "be above the subject." My conclusion after my research and the part I can mention is that at low there was fraud in the treatment of Neruda. Matilde Urrutia mentioned in a few paragraphs of his book that there is something wrong with the treatment given to them, feels that observed and suspected neglect. At one point Neruda's body is left in the dark and Urrutia begins to feel that desperation abuse of power and points the finger at the clinic, not to mention they were harassed from Isla Negra to Santiago by the military who in earlier days had raided his house. After 11 September, Isla Negra was under the governorship of Manuel Contreras, who was in charge of the area and Melipilla Green Gables Is it any wonder that the persecuted? No. The truth is that Allende killed Neruda was an important figure, everything could happen in the middle of the coup and subsequent days, we're talking about one of the most horrific chapters in our history.

MC. - Would it be necessary to exhume Neruda to search dipyrone, heavy metals, poisons and cancer metastasis?
CR. - I think so, after what I can gather, the Chileans deserve to know the real causes of the death of the poet, so your family deserves. While that is in the hands of the Legal Medical Service, so far believes that the exhumation is not needed, there is the report of a Canadian who believes that with current technology, despite the proximity of the body at sea, if important conclusions could be drawn. What ever it may be assumed is the good faith of the agents of the dictatorship and their collaborators, and that obliges consciousness to an investigation as diligent as possible in all cases and not to mention a man of such importance and addition communist militant.

MC. - On July 31, you published a new report on N: "The shadow of Neruda," Arce on Homer, the poet's secretary. Why research stretched out the other Neruda employees who were tortured under dictatorship?
CR. - I think this reinforces somehow doubt whether Neruda was a military target or not, but my work is to present some facts, are the readers who will form their own opinion. Homer Arce was the editor and best friend of Neruda, was kidnapped beaten until he collapsed and died the skull of a very cruel way, we're talking about a man who was an old man and he was abducted while collecting his retirement, he was questioned? what you have asked? That's something we'll never know. This event takes place in February 1977, when repression was at its highest point. Furthermore, the driver of Neruda was imprisoned at the national stadium and Jaime Villa Grimaldi Maturana, say that at least there was a relentlessness with Neruda's inner circle.

MC. - You located in Recife (Brazil) Alejandra Arce, Homer's grandniece Arce announced that investigated-in 1992 - the murder of the secretary of Neruda and the tragic death of Laura Arrué. What results Alejandra Arce came with their inquiries?, Does it make sense for Alejandra Arce murder theory Neruda?
CR. - Yeah, she suspects, like most near Neruda and Homer Maple, Alejandra Arce made his own investigation which confirmed that his uncle, Homer Maple, was kidnapped, severely beaten and then abandoned in the garden of his house. This is also confirmed Laura Arrué more subtly in his book Window of Remembrance and neighbors of Homer Arce. For Homer she was persecuted because of his friendship with Neruda.

MC. - Alejandra Arce said: "Those who were and still seem to Matilde Urrutia faithful to trade and not to literature" (Ñ 07.31.2012). On May 5 marked the centenary of Matilde Urrutia, is not it a good excuse to demystify or review their role in the current administration's legacy of Neruda?
CR. - The story of Homer Arce has not been given its due place, but sometimes history is made by people full of egos, economic interests and individualism, Neruda died, Arce Homer erased from their memories, I know the Matilde Urrutia had reasons to do so. I do not know if it's time to criticize the work of Urrutia, who has been criticized for failing to investigate the real causes of the death of her husband. But who could have had the courage to do? We're talking about a widow, whose houses had been looted and destroyed by the military, barely buried at a funeral full of Pinochet agents watching the crowd of communists to be dropped. She had had the courage to do it was a death sentence. Rather than reviewing their work and would like to see demystify the Neruda Foundation as plaintiff in this case. My opinion is that the Foundation does not represent the legacy of Neruda, but I'm not going to delve deeper.

MC. - Matilde Urrutia inherited the lawyer Juan Agustín Figueroa life presidency Neruda Foundation in 1982, the lawyer said recently: "The exhumation of Neruda would be a true act of desecration" (Radio Bio Bio 12.05.2012). What tells the Neruda Foundation refusal to clarify the poet's death?
CR. - I think they should at least consider the circumstances in which his death occurred, support research that suspicions are now given. Neruda is one of the figures most internationally had in our country, not only for the Nobel Prize, but also for his tireless solidarity and humanitarian aid. If you have cast doubt why not support an investigation, especially when we know how the investigations are over Eduardo Frei Montalva, Jose Toha and Gen. Alberto Bachelet recently. Today we know that Neruda did not die of cancer, and was dying as I insist until some time we ignored. More than good or bad, I think it is inexplicable that the Neruda Foundation has opposed the investigation and engaged to discredit witnesses. I was with Manuel Araya and I think a person absolutely reliable. All I could corroborate his statements in the memories of one's Matilde Urrutia, statements to the press at the time and contrast with other witnesses who fully support his version, plus it has a prodigious memory. After trying to know the whereabouts of thousands of disappeared, now is the time to take these stories to light, like Neruda, Alberto Bachelet and they still appear, is the only way to end the open wounds in Chile . What speech runs to the Foundation if they deny this story or trivialize the facts? I do not understand.

MC. - Finally, you write a book about the alleged murder of Neruda?
CR. - I have the desire, but I have not seen much interest from some Chilean publishers publish this story, I'd love to devote myself fully investigate what still remains to be told for a long job. I have the conviction that these issues should be written. While our generation is absolved of all guilt and omissions of our grandparents or parents, are marked by the atrocities committed during the dictatorship. There is a very good book on Nazism of Bernhard Schlink's called the "Reader", there is a phrase that says: "past that mark and we must live with it" and another that says, "what we feel is not important, all that matters is what we do. " The point is to keep writing this kind of topics and Revista Ñ is a means to do so prestigious. In Chile you can not write human rights without leave welts, except when there's free torturers dresses mayors or other charges. Hopefully this interview with a publisher is interested. Hopefully, who knows.

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