Neruda was "killed" / Magazin "Proceso", Mexico




Everything was ready for the poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda was exiled in Mexico. He had traveled from his home in Isla Negra, Santiago de Chile and a plane sent by the Mexican government was ready for pickup. However, he had to be admitted to the clinic Santa Maria. Phoned his wife, Matilde Urrutia, and his assistant Manuel Araya that a doctor had given her a shot in the stomach. A few hours later he died. Araya, who was next to the poet in his last days to process a secret account that drowns the poet "was killed".

Valparaiso. - The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda "knew at four in the morning (11 September 1973) there was a coup. He learned through a radio Argentina that captured shortwave. It reported that the navy had mutinied in Valparaiso.

"He tried to communicate to Santiago, but it was impossible. The phone was out of service. Just like at nine o'clock we confirmed that the coup had materialized. (...) That September 11 was a chaotic day and bitter because we did not know what would happen with Chile and with us. "

Manuel Osorio Araya talks about Neruda's familiarity with who shared turning a historical figure. And yes. Poet was assistant since November 1972, when he returned from France, until his death on September 23, 1973.

The correspondent met with this character on 24 April at the port of San Antonio. The interview took place at the home of the leader of the Chilean fishermen Cosme Caracciolo, who asked him to help Araya revealing a secret that drowned: "All I want is to die before the world to know the truth, that Pablo Neruda was murdered, "said Proceso.

Only the Daily Leader, San Antonio, reported partial version on 26 June 2004. But not revealed by the little influence of this medium.

Araya says he always wanted to see justice done. Note that the May 1, 1974 proposed to Matilde Urrutia, Neruda's widow, clarify that death. Both were witnesses of his last hours, slept, ate and lived together in the same room as the coup of September 11, 1973 and until the poet's death, 12 days later, in the clinic Santa Maria of Santiago.

But Araya says Matilda, who died in January 1985 - would not take any action to fincar possible liability. According to him, Urrutia said, "If I start a trial will remove all goods". Araya that on another occasion had a discussion which marked a final break their relationship with the widow. "He told me that what had happened was her doing, not mine, because I had already finished of working with Paul, it was not working and we had nothing to do".

"Neruda wanted that when he died, the house in Isla Negra stay for coal miners (...) But the foundation (Pablo Neruda) appropriated his work and did not clarify any of your dreams. They (the directors of the foundation) only care about the money, "he spits.

He says that two years ago he gave Jaime Pinos, then director of the Museum of Isla Negra, the foundation, an account of the last days of the poet. "But they have not done anything with that information, they have not even released. Do not want the truth to be known (...) I have never been given the word in the events organized even in the commemorations of his death. "

Araya comes from a family of farmers in the hacienda La Marquesa, near San Antonio. When he was 14 he was accepted into the Communist leader Santiago Campusano Juliet, who gave treatment godson.

This link helped because Campusano became senator and the most influential woman of the Communist Party, and managed to Araya received special training in security and intelligence, among other subjects. Araya quickly escalated. Allende was personal messenger before serving as assistant principal Neruda.

Araya, who was the driver, messenger and safety officer Neruda, agree that the author of Canto general had prostate cancer, but does not believe that the disease killed him. Ensures that the condition was "controlled" and that Neruda "was in good health, with the infirmities of a person of 69 years."


Araya said that after the coup of September 11, Neruda, his wife and the rest of the inhabitants of the house in Isla Negra were "abandoned and alone." Contact with the outside world was limited to the news that reached them through a small radio tuned Neruda, sporadic phone conversations to a device that only received calls and what they had in the inn Santa Elena, whose owner " was right and knew what was happening. "

Note that on September 12 came a jeep with four soldiers. "They all had their faces painted black. I went to meet them. (...) The officer asked me who was in the house. I had to say that at that time were Cristina, the cook, her sister, Ruth, Patrick, who was a gardener and porter; Laurita (Reyes, Neruda's sister), Mrs. Matilda, Pablito (Neruda) and me.

"The officer said to us at the address could not be anyone but Neruda, Matilde and me. Then we had to make do between the three: slept in the marital bedroom was on the second floor. I slept in a chair, wrapped in a shawl. He did it to be closer to Neruda, because we did not know what was going to happen. "

On September 13, around 10 am, the soldiers raided the house. Araya said that 40 soldiers were like coming in three trucks. They were armed with machine guns, their faces painted black and camouflage. Dresses and equipped "like a war".

Remember: "They came from all sides: by the beach, by the sides (...) I went outside to ask what they wanted. I spoke to the officer who gave the orders. Told me to open all doors. While reviewing, destroyed and robbed, asked if the military had weapons, if we had people hiding inside, if we hid Communist Party leaders (...) But they found nothing. They were silent. They did not ask no forgiveness. They felt the system lords and masters. They had the power in their hands. "

He added that about three in the afternoon, shortly after he had left the soldiers, sailors arrived. "They were more than two hours. They also raided the house and stole things. Searched with metal detectors. (...) Mrs. Matilde told me that the boss of the sailors went to Neruda's bedroom and said, 'Sorry, sir Neruda'. And it was. "

Araya recalls that for several days the navy warship put before the house of the poet. "Neruda said, 'We will kill, we will fly'. And I said: 'If we have to die, I will die in the first window you'. He did it to give value, to feel together. Then he said to Mrs. Matilda 'Patoja-that thus-named: Look mate, not going to give up, is going to stay here.' "

Araya that such talks were taking place in the part of marriage: they lying and he sat at the foot of the bed. "We wondered what we would do ourselves. We thought that they were going to kill Neruda. So, we decided that the only option was to leave the country. "

The trip

Araya Neruda narrates that he said his plan was to settle in Mexico and once in that country asking "intellectuals and governments around the world help to overthrow tyranny and rebuild democracy in Chile."

He recalls: "From the Lodge Santa Elena, within 100 meters from the house in Isla Negra, we communicate with embassies of France and Mexico. Mexico's behaved a seven (maximum score in the Chilean educational system). Ambassador (Gonzalo Martinez Corbalá) mobilized to help. I think the September 17 called to say he had gotten a room at the clinic Santa Maria. There should wait for a plane offered by President Luis Echeverría. "

The problem was to move the poet to the clinic. "With Neruda and Matilde think the best and safest way to get there was in an ambulance. My mission was to get it. I traveled to Santiago in our white Fiat 125 and I could rent an ambulance. (...) I remember that I offered as six times what they charged me to ensure that they were actually looking for us. We agreed that we were on the 19th, because that day the clinic would have everything ready to welcome Pablito.

"There comes a 19 and ask to Green Gables (military regiment in the province of San Antonio) permission to move to Neruda. They said, 'We are not giving safe passage, unless Neruda'. Despite the refusal from decided. The ambulance came to the door leading to the staircase of her bedroom. (...) When leaving goodbye to her dog Panda, climbed into the ambulance and lay down on the couch. Neruda and Matilde were in the ambulance. I followed them closely in the Fiat. "

"The trip was sad, chaotic and terrible. We controlled every four or five miles, it seemed impossible to reach our destination. Imagine we left at 12:30 and arrived at 18:30 to the clinic (distant little more than 100 miles of Isla Negra).

"In more control Melipilla was cursed. There Neruda lived the most terrible moment. (...) The military dropped from the ambulance and saw the body and clothing. They said they were looking for weapons. He asked for leniency, saying he was a poet, a Nobel laureate, who gave everything for their country and they deserve respect. To soften their hearts told them was very sick, but the humiliation continued. At one point we mourn the three holding hands because we believed that this was to be our last. "

Finally the ambulance arrived at the clinic three hours later than agreed. "As we near the time of curfew, we could not do anything but stay in the clinic all to sleep (...)

"Ambassador Martinez Corbalá was to meet the next day. And the French, who never knew his name. We also received a visit from Radomiro Tomic and Maximo Pacheco (Democrat leaders), a Swedish diplomat, and nobody else. "

The mysterious injection

Araya says the first days at the clinic passed smoothly. On September 22, the Embassy of Mexico told the plane ready for its government was scheduled to leave for Mexico Santiago September 24. He further reported that the military regime had authorized departure.

"Then we asked Neruda and Matilde me that we traveled to Isla Negra to find your most important things, among them his unfinished memoirs. I confess that were I lived. The next day we left -23 September-early to the house in Isla Negra. (...) We left Neruda well in the clinic, accompanied by his sister Laura, who came that day to accompany him. "

Ensures that Neruda was "in excellent condition, taking all your medicines. All tablets were, there was no injections. We care to collect everything we said. We were on it when Neruda called us at about four in the afternoon at the lodge St. Helena, where he was given the message to Matilde, who returned the call. Neruda said, 'Come on in quick, because being asleep a doctor entered and placed me a shot'.

"When we got to the clinic, Neruda was very feverish and red. He said he had played in the batting (stomach) and not knowing what had been injected. Then we see him batting and had a red patch. "

Araya remember moments later when he was washing his face in the bathroom, I enter a doctor who told him: "You must go to Don Pablo urgent buy a remedy that is not in the clinic."

He went to buy the medication and stayed with Matilde Neruda and Laurita. "On the way followed me without me noticing. The doctor had told me before that the drug was not in the center of Santiago, but in a pharmacy or Independence Vivaceta street. When I left for Balmaceda Vivaceta appeared to enter two cars, one behind and one in front. They got me beat men and punched and kicked. I did not know who they were. Sick and then I slapped a bullet hit me in the leg.

"After all that hit me ended badly wounded at the station Carrión, that is Vivaceta with Santa Maria. Then I moved to the National Stadium where he suffered severe torture that left me on the verge of death. Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez did get me out of this hell. That's why I'm alive. "

Neruda died at 22:00 pm in his room-the number 406 - Santa Maria clinic.

Process consulted by the director of files Neruda Foundation, Darío Oses, announced the institution's position on the death of the poet:

"There is no official version that handles the foundation. This is consistent with the testimony of those close to Neruda at the time of his death and biographers who managed to reliable sources. There are many similarities between the versions of Matilde Urrutia in his book My Life with Pablo, Jorge Edwards Goodbye poet and Teitelboim Volodya in his biography Neruda. The cause of death was cancer. One of the doctors who treated him, apparently Dr. Vargas Salazar, Matilde had warned that the agitation that the poet gave him the find out what was happening in Chile at that time could aggravate your state. This situation also contributed the raid on his home (...) and ambulance (...) with military checks and on the road. "

But Manuel Araya says he has no doubt: "Neruda was killed." And he maintains that the order came from Augusto Pinochet: "How else would hand out?".

Tips Allende

VALPARAISO, CHILE. - Chilean President Salvador Allende was the most frequent visitor of Pablo Neruda in Isla Negra house. "When he went, always Allende asked his advice the poet because he was very wise in politics," says Manuel Osorio Araya, Neruda exasistente staff.

Remember, for example, the advice he gave Allende Neruda over the armed forces in the weeks before the coup, when the August 23, 1973 the right and the military coup forced the resignation of General Carlos Prats GonzЗlez, commander of army.

"We have to decapitate the military ... Those of us toward acЗ and the other to the side, "he decТa Neruda President.

He regrets Araya Chicho (Allende) ignore him the poet in this topic. "If it had, the story would have been quite different. Another rooster had sung, we would still be in power, "he says with conviction.

And note that the September 10, 1973-the day before the military coup Neruda asked to travel to Santiago to deliver a message to President Allende. It was an invitation to the inauguration of Cantalao, the refuge for the inspiration and the rest of the poets, that would be precisely on September 11.

In an interview with Proceso, Mario Casasús, student of life in Mexico Neruda and correspondent of El Clarin de Chile, said that Neruda had written statutes Cantalao foundation. In this pierce the grounds of the home of the poets of the same name, which are very close to his home in Isla Negra.

Araya says that Allende received him in his office. "I was walking, seemed nervous. Neruda read the note and immediately drafted a response. Without reading it I put it in a pocket. (...) I have no idea what that message said, but the president said, 'Tell your partner (Neruda) that tomorrow I'm going to the Technical University (where he would announce a plebiscite) and that there may be saber rattling this September 11 '".

Neruda says, to know the message, he was very worried because he understood the course events were taking. "That night I slept."

That September 11 "we were completely abandoned and alone," says Araya. "The death of President Salvador Allende afectЧ much to Don Pablo. However sentТa Оl is the strength and courage needed to keep fighting for what you think is fair. "

"The reports issued by the national media were manipulated by the military regime. We knew they were false, that it was all lies. "

Araya Neruda narrates that he became very depressed. He asked not to be sad. "I told the military in a month he would hand over power to the Christian Democrats."

Neruda replied: "No mate, it will last for many years, as happened in Spain. I know the story, you do not know of coups. "

* Correspondent in Chile Mexican weekly Proceso, report published in issue 1081 of 8 May 2011. Breeds in Clarí with permission of the author