Interview with Manuel Araya / "Clarin", Chile

By Mario Casasus



Valparaiso. - In an exclusive interview with Manuel Araya Clarí (1948), belies the Neruda Foundation statements reflected in the court record (ROL 1038 to 2011) to clarify the alleged murder of Chilean Nobel: "I have never left my country , Charo and Hugo Arevalo Cofré lie, the person who rescued me from the concentration camp at the National Stadium was Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez, he saved my life, I weighed 37 kilos when leaving the National Stadium, tortured me, I have a bullet in the leg, was very ill, and the soldiers got a restriction order for two years, never left Chile ... All we were close associates of Neruda have had problems, why the dictatorship killed Homero Arce? , was beaten to death while consequences of torture. Why were stopped contributors Neruda?, Why my brother disappeared?, Do you mistook me, or was a message for me to keep quiet? "

MC. - Don Manuel, do you remember the exact date of his arrest upon exiting the Clinic Santa Maria?
MA. - Yes, the September 23, 1973, I remember because the next day would go to Mexico Pablo Neruda with Gonzalo Martinez Corbalá Ambassador and Mrs. Matilde Urrutia, on September 23 accompanied Mrs. Urrutia to Isla Negra by belongings and unpublished books that would lead to exile, however interrupted because the leadership at 4pm Pablito spoke by telephone from his room in the Clínica Santa Maria, told us that went to inject without explanation. Returning to the Santa Maria Clinic sent me to buy a drug, I stopped at the pharmacy address, hence I was taken to the police station and then to the National Stadium.

MC. - In the memoirs of Matilde Urrutia refers Neruda's driver, "was the only person who was about to help me ... he was gone with our car and with it I lost the only person who was with me at all hours of the day "(Seix Barral, 1986), but Charo Cofré and Hugo Arevalo say Neruda and Matilde accompanied the September 18, 1973 ...
MA. - I deny Cofré Charo, nobody could get to Isla Negra after the coup, the military had the house under surveillance Pablito, in memory of Mrs. Matilde Urrutia did not write anything about the alleged visit of 18 September 1973. It is ridiculous to think that Pablito, Matilde, Charo and Hugo celebrated 18 with red wine and empanadas, Charo and Hugo lie to say that they slept in Isla Negra on September 18 and who joined us in the car behind the ambulance on the way to the Santa Maria Clinic on September 19.

MC. - In Cofré Charo statements during the trial, he dismissed the "Neruda's driver," and with Hugo Arevalo committed perjury because Faride Zerán interview (Rocinante, 05/2003) claimed "the driver Manuel Araya "Matilde Urrutia inventing National Stadium rescued him and helped him arrange his exile in Mexico (sic) ...
MA. - I've never left my country, and Hugo Arevalo Cofré Charo lie, the person who rescued me from the concentration camp at the National Stadium was Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez-I met him in Isla Negra, was a close friend of Pablito, after I had lunch back and talked-Santiago, Cardinal saved my life, I weighed 37 kilos when leaving the National Stadium, tortured me, I have a bullet in the leg, was very ill, and the soldiers gave me an order of attachment for two years, never left Chile, the only person who helped me was the Cardinal took care of me in the Vicariate of Solidarity, helped me with money for lunch and finding my brother Patricio Araya, missing prisoner since 1976. How could I go to Mexico no news of my brother Hugo Charo and lie.

Mk-Neruda Foundation presented as a witness in the trial of Luis Vera Cano, did you know the alleged driver of Neruda?
MA. - False, the Communist Party Neruda received at the airport and the PC Silvio Gonzalez appointed him as a driver for seven days, from November 21, 1972 -; Neruda did not reach his home in Isla Negra, but the Miramar Hotel Vina del Mar, I had to go pick him up at the hotel, since I was the driver and bodyguard Pablito until September 23, 1973.

MC. - The only argument at trial Neruda Foundation is disqualification of the driver, as Aida Figueroa: "when an employee could not access Neruda's friendship let alone call it 'Pablito'" (sic), what thought when reading the class stand and despotic Neruda Foundation do people have the power to regulate the poet friends?
MA. - Neruda met at age 14, I was active in the Communist Youth, when President Salvador Allende or Volodia Teitelboim Pablito asked him "how he behaves Manuel" Neruda said to them "is like my son, is the best driver I ever had in my entire life. " The Communist Party was very happy with the work that I did, in that provided security to Neruda and at the discretion of their political and private affairs.

MC. - Maria Eugenia Zamudio (former director of Isla Negra), insulted him, even said that the Communist Party expelled the "crazy" Manuel Araya, how could I deny it?
MA. - I never expelled from the Communist Party, I have a letter in 2004 which recognized my career, signed by an official of the Central Committee, Jorge Insunza-PC with the letter covered her mouth to Zamudio and Neruda Foundation . If I had lost credibility with the Communist Party, why the lawyer Eduardo Contreras filed the lawsuit to clarify the death of Neruda?, The PC is indebted to Pablito, he donated part of the money from the Nobel Prize-70% - for the purchase of a new printing press in El Siglo.

MC. - Jaime Maturana-carpenter and Neruda's driver from 1969 to 1971 - his brother was tortured and disappeared; Homer Arce-personal secretary, was murdered by agents of the dictatorship, and you were tortured and his brother is still missing, you see one pattern of repression against the collaborators of Neruda?
MA. - All who were close associates of Neruda have had problems, why dictatorship Arce killed Homer?, Beat him so much that died as a result of torture. Why were stopped contributors Neruda?, Why my brother disappeared?, Do you mistook me, or was a message for me to stay silent?

MC. - During the judgment, tried to co-opt the Neruda Foundation or reconcile with you?
MA. - After the trial began, I got 500 invitations Neruda Foundation, even on Friday 11 November, requested my participation in the book fair next to the dome, why until now I take into account? The Neruda Foundation are cynics and liars.

MC. - The only inaccuracy made by Ambassador Gonzalo Martinez Corbalá the story of Francisco Marin: "Neruda was killed" (Process, 1801), was inseparable part of the management to hospitalize Neruda, do you accept the mistake or got reiterates that Ambassador Room in the Clinic Santa Maria?
MA. - The days after Sept. 19 were so chaotic that maybe I got confused, I remember Corbalá Ambassador Gonzalo Martinez for his kindness, I thought I was a secretary for his humility. Neruda travel to Mexico to lead the opposition to Pinochet, said that it would be worse than Francisco Franco. I saw when Mrs. Matilde Urrutia handed belongings and memories of Neruda Ambassador of Mexico, Don Gonzalo Martinez Corbalá sent his statement to the trial, to some extent is a backup to my complaint.

MC. - From collaborators Neruda in Isla Negra, who do you like to talk?
MA. - I'd like to talk to Rosita Nunez Pablito nurse from 1960 to 1973 - now I read that she said: "Two years after the death of Pablo, a summer Mrs. (Matilde Urrutia) came to visit me. He said he suspected that her husband had been killed in the clinic, possibly with some injection. It was the last time I saw "(The Nation 9/18/2005) his testimony is valuable, I think the judge Mario Carroza and invited to testify.

MC. - Seek to last carpenter Neruda, Rafael Hernández Square?
MA. - No, because Rafita works with Neruda Foundation; Rafita was not working with Pablito on September 11, 1973. I've seen him in Isla Negra, I have pictures with Rafita, but Neruda Foundation not allowed to gather with me.

Mk-Finally, are you interested in leaving his testimony in a book?
MA. - Yeah, I'm working on a project, but do not give the details.