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Chile could exhume remains of poet Pablo Neruda

Chile's Communist party suspects the famous poet was poisoned following the 1973 military coup.
Chile pinochet 1973 coup 2011 06 02Enlarge
Chilean Army troops fire on the La Moneda Palace on Sept. 11, 1973. (OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Chile Communist party is asking a judge to order the exhumation of poet Pablo Neruda to determine whether he was poisoned.

Neruda died on Sept. 23, 1973, in a clinic in Santiago where he was being treated for late-stage prostate cancer.

But in recent months, Manuel Araya, who was Neruda's chauffeur and assistant, has said he and Neruda's wife received an urgent phone call from Neruda on the day of his death, reports the AP.

Araya said Neruda said to "come quickly, because while I was asleep a doctor entered and gave me a shot."

The request will be reviewed by Judge Mario Carroza, who is investigating possible murder cases during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Neruda died 12 days after the military coup. He had just written an article criticizing Pinochet and defending his recently deceased friend and former President Salvador Allende.

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