Managing the Neruda Foundation, a critical look.

By Mario Casasus


The memory of America extends from Neruda's hometown in Parral (Chile, far south) to our Parral (in the U.S. border and Chihuahua), from the Heights of Macchu Pichu into the bowels of the Valley Cuauhnahuac (Cuernavaca is so tied to Neruda, as his poetry and life: in 1941 a group of Nazis brutally beat him in a restaurant in downtown Cuernavaca, and in 1966, Neruda recently in Mexico, visited her in The Tallera dear friend David Alfaro Siqueiros).

Pablo Neruda was always a witness in the public eye, just to mention: the Spanish Civil War, the emerging Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR, the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the democratic road to socialism proposal Popular Unity (1970-1973), U.S. covert actions to overthrow the government of Salvador Allende, to Neruda's funeral, historical fact also shows that the dead speak to us, by becoming the first march to repudiate the dictatorship of Pinochet.

Neruda politically persecuted, banned poet, in 1948 a senator becomes wildly with arrest warrant, the PRI Mexico denied a pass or political asylum, "Neruda then takes refuge in the Mexican Embassy. He welcomes the ambassador Pedro de Alba. Surprisingly order comes from Mexico that could not be given asylum. These were the years of the counterrevolutionary government of Miguel Aleman. Neruda then and always hold the ignominious fact, Cardoza y Aragon recalls in his memoirs The river, Jaime Torres Bodet Chancellor. In that year of 1948 in the Canto general wrote:
'... And when Mexico opened
to receive me and keep me,
Torres Bodet, poor poet,
I ordered the surrender
the jailers angry. '"

And it's the same old PRI (in 1973), with its genocidal Luis Echeverria Alvarez, who offers him a special plane for the new exile. Neruda was unable to return to Mexico in 1973 (died as a result of cancer and sadness withering on September 23). On the death of Neruda, Matilde Urrutia, his widow, did the best he could to preserve the heritage and memory of Neruda, compiled his sheets and unpublished, published them, walked solidarity with his people when the military terror was atrocious, gave a fierce battle for human rights, foreign denouncing the systematic violations of the Pinochet dictatorship. His only mistake was trusting Juan Agustín Figueroa and name Neruda Foundation president, especially for being the brother of Aida Figueroa Yávar (great friend of Neruda, which meets during the persecution of 1948).

Neither Matilde Urrutia, much less Pablo Neruda, imagined that the battle of a lifetime and countless legal procedures would result in a shareholder Foundation Pinochet oligarchy led by Juan Agustín Figueroa and Ricardo Claro. Neruda's intention was to create the "Foundation Cantalao" for which donated land in Punta de Tralca, and drafted the statutes for operating Cantalao was not his will establish branches of house museums, much less a foundation to surrender cult his personality.

According to the document Neruda (unpublished, dated May 9, 1973, which has only been discussed within the Communist Party - partially published in its press-agency and the Board of the Neruda Foundation), and I quote I have in my possession both statutes, the 1973 and 1982, certified by a notary public: Originally it would be a "Charitable Foundation nonprofit whose goal is the spread of letters, arts and sciences, especially in the coastline between San Antonio and Valparaiso. a) construction and equipping in real property that is contributed to the foundation of buildings that are directed to sites of meetings of writers, artists and national and foreign scientists as likewise for their accommodation "in the fifth article on the Composition of the Board and Executive: "would be composed of two representatives of Pablo Neruda, the rectors of the universities of Chile, Catholic and State Technical, a representative of the Confederation of Workers and a representative of the Writers of Chile".

However, the 1982 text, ignoring the will of Neruda and names five people (as in 1973, there were seven, and now none is representative of the Chilean universities) Juan Agustín Figueroa writes: "Their positions will be for life butmay cease by resignation. Produced a vacancy the other four members shall elect a replacement. If only quedase one or more members of the Council shall designate these replacements. " A true dictatorship that perpetuates the Board, through the legal scope of the statutes of 1982, drafted by attorney Juan Agustín Figueroa as a testament to Matilde Urrutia.

On the official website, their website Foundation is defined as: "A legal person of private law in 1986", but never made public the financial resources at their disposal, "only in the 2003 left in its coffers nearly a billion Chilean pesos, almost two million United States dollars, by way of royalties, ticket sales and merchandising houses "(according to a note by Andres Gomez of La Tercera newspaper 10 / 06/2004). Being "a legal person of private law", are not accountable to the Chilean state (rather than the respective taxes), let alone the general public, thanks to the note of the third could tell that there is a "embezzlement for 25 million pesos for misappropriation in a Neruda House Museum ".

Praise should be the lawyer Juan Agustín Figueroa recovery house in Isla Negra, first donated to the Communist Party by Pablo Neruda in life, then expropriated the political community by the Pinochet dictatorship and eventually (since 1991) administered by the Foundation. But ... Neruda is not what you want as a legacy, much less if we look at his poetry:

"I leave it to the unions
copper, coal and salt
seaside home in Isla Negra.
I want there resting the abused children
of my country, sacked by axes and traitors,
thwarted in his sacred blood,
consumed in volcanic rags "

Juan Agustín Figueroa was Minister of State, Agriculture portfolio, during the government of Patricio Aylwin (1990-1994), the managed public image thanks to its status as Neruda Foundation president. The Chilean journalist Ernesto Carmona Figueroa described as "a sort of bridge between the ultra right-wing politician Ricardo Claro and the Concertación, the coalition of Christian Democrat socialist hegemony that rules the country. 'A Juan Agustín I put as director (of Chile Cristalerías), because we are friends from the University, "explained Ricardo Claro El Mercurio" (Chilean News Agency January 17, 2005), you can see the full directory Glassware in Chile on its website ( The ideological affinity between Ricardo Claro and Juan Agustín Figueroa explained when the Neruda Foundation president invoked the Patriot Act against two indigenous Mapuche (for allegedly burning and encroachment on their property in the south, where the Mapuche people have always lived in the southern Chile and Argentina) have asked Figueroa resigned Concertación (ruling party alliance Chile) for the violation of human rights of the Mapuche for their efforts in implementing the Terrorism Act against them.

The Socialist deputy Alejandro Navarro Brain wrote a forceful "Open Letter to Juan Agustín Figueroa" explaining the background to the Pinochet dictatorship used to create the Terrorism Act.

On the other side of the alliance, the owner of Cristalerías Chile, the magazine published the funa Rocinante (demonstration against Pinochet collaborators) to Ricardo Claro: "Nearly a thousand people participated on October 14 in the Funa (public complaint) of entrepreneur Ricardo Claro Megavisión business, companies Glassware in Chile, etc. ... Protesters complained to the headquarters of the multiple Elecmetal Megavisión and complicity of course with the Pinochet dictatorship. They claimed that the company's board Elecmetal, chaired by Ricardo Claro, gave Carabineros (police) and military workers Devia Jose, Jose Maldonado, Augusto Alcaya, Miguel Cuevas and Juan Fernandez and Guillermo Flores. Six were brutally murdered and their bodies were scattered in various streets of Santiago. Their bodies showed signs of torture and multiple gunshot wounds "(November 2000). Although Ricardo Claro now denies any collaboration in the Pinochet dictatorship: "The owner of CSAV, Ricardo Claro, said angrily that it is a 'nonsense' to assume that your company vessels were used as torture centers during the Pinochet regime, as human rights organizations argue "Radio Cooperativa reported (02/12/2004).

The roles are reversed and paid the favor: if Juan Agustín Figueroa previously served on the board of the company Cristalerías Chile (owned by Ricardo Claro) Neruda Foundation now invests much of its capital by the same company Glassware Chile, is the final determination directory Neruda Foundation, which has transcended the national and international press by the enormous influence of Ricardo Claro and the good name of the Neruda Foundation. This is an initial investment of 300 million billion Chilean pesos (2,315,227.25 USD) and if we estimate that each year visit Neruda's houses around 100,000 people, official figures-(x 2,500 Chilean pesos) Glass Chile has secured 250 million annual Chilean pesos (445,236.00 USD) without mentioning the entries for the collection of every book of Neruda sold in any part of the land or language imaginable.

On the eve of the centennial of Neruda (2004) Foundation committed an outrage against one of its employees, Luis Alberto Ocampo, accusing him of "misappropriation" by 25 million Chilean pesos, this is amazing considering that Luis Alberto Ocampo was a modest employee whose sole responsibility of leading the commissary of the museum. A source from within the Foundation has entrusted me unofficial version: "Neruda Foundation hired internal investigators, who were two counters led by Emilio Rojas, they established with their accounting expertise swindled debt to Neruda Foundation is completely different procedure established by the police, in short we are not talking of only 25 million pesos (as published The Third 06/10/2004) but losses in 2002 and 2003 for 90 million dollars and in 2004 (in six months) for 50 million Chilean pesos, "the same source I anticipated that Francisco Torres (executive director of the Foundation) will give up before they" pop the pot ", the argument of his resignation:" best job prospects "in addition The Neruda Foundation source explained: "The mechanism for the embezzlement of 140 million Chilean pesos (249,309.95 USD) within the Neruda Foundation, is using false fees receipts, even some were not even declared to internal taxes and reported compared to what the name of Luis Alberto Ocampo, could never have embezzled so much money, since he was in charge of the little shop of home Neruda Museum, "my source is totally reliable, domestic tax investigations throw this data. "There is much disagreement with having imprisoned as a scapegoat to Luis Alberto Ocampo" says his attorney by telephone, Alicia Meyer, who defends the cause No. 1997-3 (2004), "when you can come and study the file" ending the telephone conversation we held extensive.

In conclusion:
The Neruda Foundation does absolutely nothing to recover the Popular Anthology 1972 (draft Neruda and the Popular Unity to print a million copies and distributed free of charge among public libraries, schools and unions in Chile) on the contrary, the contract guarantees of the Spanish publishing Edaf with Balcells Agency to publish a fake book, now titled posthumous anthology with a performance full of lies, written by Manuel Márquez de la Plata. The book was published in his first (and only) time for a total of 150,000 copies, Neruda wanted end a circulation of one million copies and legally got his editor Gonzalo Losada (and copyright owner) ceded all copyright , with the proviso that the book can not be sold. The above are all elements Edaf censored, Marquez de la Plata and Melquiades Prieto (Edaf Library Director) is a robbery the people of Chile, started by the Pinochet dictatorship and ended ("legally") by FASD and the Neruda Foundation omissions.

The Neruda Foundation is not interested in seeking Neruda unpublished foreword for the book Song of gestation (editorial Quimantú, 1973) destroyed throughout the run following the Pinochet dictatorship, when the only copy is lost in the Literature Library a Foreign Moscow (research that I wrote in the journal Rocinante, August 2004), as at the time denied the Neruda Foundation supported the writer and architect Ramiro Insunza to publish the unpublished book Ode to Datitla flowers that Neruda wrote while in Uruguay, in the '50s and remained unpublished until 2003, for the 30 years of the poet's death.

The train stopped Neruda Foundation of poetry (free cultural event bringing together nature writers worldwide every 23 September in Temuco) expelling the poet Bernardo Reyes (Neruda's nephew) of any organization and the Foundation Neruda , who also continues to deny systematically finding the legendary Bernardo Reyes Journal of Temuco (unpublished poetry of youth) entrusting the presentation of Victor Farias, a complete neophyte Neruda poetry.

Neruda Foundation unlink your family background and his political activism, here are some cases "in court prevented the publication of a book, of Leonidas Aguirre, who collected the parliamentary speeches of Pablo Neruda as a senator of the Communist Party (1945-1948 ), citing an alleged violation on the 'copyright' possessing exclusively. Although later the Santiago Appeals Court authorized the publication of the work, noting that 'the minutes of meeting of the Senate are not protected by Law 17. IP 336 '"(newspaper Azkintuwe, Issue 1, October 2003), then the test July censored Gálvez (specialist of the period: Neruda in Spain) Witness Burning a time, the writer Jaime Valdivieso resigned from the board of the journal Journal of the Neruda Foundation, when his essay on Mapuche poetry was approved for publication by the full editorial board and later suspended him Aida Figueroa alluding to the Mapuche in the southern region had burned one of his estates to his brother. In addition there are not a few, internationally renowned intellectuals who disagree with the current administration of the Neruda Foundation, Jorge Edwards (Cervantes Prize 1999) was the first dissident renouncing the Neruda Foundation Board; Bernardo Reyes (expelled by the Foundation) and two writers who need no introduction in Mexico, recognized for their literary careers: Poli Delano and Gonzalo Rojas who sympathized with Bernardo Reyes against unjustified dismissal. The Neruda Foundation is not accountable to anyone, excluded from board meetings of advisory committees Santiago and Valparaiso, does not clarify the diversion of money totaling 140 million Chilean pesos (249,309.95 USD).

And the biggest inconsistency is that the Neruda Foundation is investing his fortune (for concepts of copyright and driveways museum) by the entrepreneur Ricardo Claro (main contributor Pinochet) which may not be illegal, but it's definitely immoral. Ricardo Claro (owner CSAV) is marked by human rights organizations, the ships of his company were used as torture centers during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Preserving the heritage of Neruda (houses, books and personal files) to undertake new projects, investing in companies on behalf of Ricardo Claro memory of our poet simply nothing better.

Final Note:

I sent at least five questionnaires to the website of the Neruda Foundation and the personal email account of Francisco Torres (CEO of FN) from end-editing, with the intention of having an official statement on the above Foundation inthis test and the only answer I got was: "Your message has been successfully received. The Foundation reserves the right to respond. Thank you for writing us. Pablo Neruda Foundation ".

Source: Clarin de Chile 11/08/2005