Interview with Mario Amoros / "El Mundo", Spain




Alicante journalist Mario Amoros (Novelda, 1973) presented next week in Santiago de Chile the book "Shadows on Isla Negra, where he analyzes the circumstances surrounding the last days of the poet Pablo Neruda. A question hovers the research work for a year by Amoros. Neruda Did he die at the hands of Pinochet's dictatorship? So says the driver of such a poet and friend, Manuel Araya, while the writer's widow, Matilde Urrutia, never accepted the official version, although not verbalized this statement. Amoros has collected testimony from more than twenty people and has conducted a thorough consultation, studying the existing books on Neruda's life and diving in summary proceedings files and press at the time. The book will be launched during the same week that a judge must decide on the exhumation of the body of the writer and above all, according to its author, intended as a "tribute to the universal and illustrious poet" of Chilean history, "whose memory can not be buried in the shadow of dictatorship and terror, "he says.

Question. - From reading this book, is it correct to assume that Pablo Neruda was assassinated by the regime of Augusto Pinochet?

Response. - This is a question that is in the air and that can only be cleared in the coming weeks if Chilean Judge Mario Carroza requested the exhumation of the remains of Neruda, who are in Isla Negra. In my book I do not make that statement, because I intend to get away from the hype and the holder easily, although my first conclusion is that Pablo Neruda was a victim of the military dictatorship. What is true, as the poet tells the widow, Matilde Urrutia, in his book "My Life with Pablo Neruda ', is that the Pinochet coup against the government of Salvador Allende was the beginning of a terrible agony, physical and moral for him. That September 11, Neruda collapsed. If he was killed or not, as other voices say, the exhumation will prove it.

Q. - But the official version of his death, a document that illustrates the cover of his book, says that the cause was prostate cancer end stage ...

A. - Yes, but at the time, said his wife, the cancer was completely controlled as also told the urologist who attended him, who assured them that their life expectancy was five or six years. As I mentioned before, I think it was that coup which accelerated his death. Indeed, Neruda went into a coma on September 22, a day before he died and hours after several friends visited him at the clinic of Santiago, where he was admitted. They say that by telling what was happening in the country, such as the murder of Victor Jara or persecution of so many friends and colleagues, Neruda fell into a fever that led to a coma and eventually his death.

Q. - What is the first murder charge directly linked to the Pinochet regime?

R. - was formally denounce the Neruda's driver, Manuel Araya. This led to a criminal complaint filed by the Communist Party of Chile to clarify the reasons for the death. As a result, the judge of the Court of Appeals of Santiago de Chile began an investigation, which I consider very serious and in which I could support me in this book provide the keys to clarify the true circumstances of this death.

P-. It is especially new in this book collecting testimonies of all those who visited or had contact with Neruda during the moments before his death Spotted contradictions?

R. First, the book itself is novel in that it is the first to be published about Neruda's death and his final days. Moreover, it is true that there are many questions, perhaps too, about those events. Among the testimonies I gathered, there are some very enlightening. For example, the Mexican ambassador, who testified at trial that, when Neruda visited Sept. 22 to prepare for his journey into exile, the writer was on the verge of death, but as we had left one month before in Isla Negra. There are also revelations that are not even included in the summary. This applies to the statements of the French ambassador, who says he visited the clinic Neruda to impose the Legion of Honor hours before she died and says Matilde Urrutia had found crying in another room while Neruda was on the verge death. This, for example, is important because it calls into question the claim of Neruda's driver, who relates that in those hours, Matilde Urrutia and himself were in Isla Negra collecting things to prepare exile to Mexico. Moreover, also cited a report published in 1975 by a Chilean newspaper, which includes a conversation with your doctor Neruda. That conversation does not appear in the summary of the case and reveals that Neruda was not asleep, but in a more or less conscious, until the last hours of his death.

Q. You spoke of this process that is taking place in Chile to investigate their recent history. What does research in such major for Chilean society?

R. - We must recognize the effort that is being made, tireless struggle motivated by human rights movement for more than four decades, to investigate the crimes of the Pinochet dictatorship. That has allowed hundreds of military dictatorship repressors being tried and many have even jailed. I consider it a breakthrough, especially when compared to Spain where he endures, from my point of view, tremendous impunity against the crimes of Francoism. They can not be forgotten persecution and deaths of so many people, and the barbarity that took place in that country. Keep in mind that days after Neruda's death at the Santa Maria Clinic in Santiago, around the center of the capital is already taken by the military, who plunder the houses and organize bonfires in the streets to burn the books of many and many writers, including Pablo Neruda.