A well-informed source in the case -who preferred to keep his identity confidential- told us that this crime required significant medical, surgical and microbiological knowledge to be effectively carried out.

The ALASKAE43 strain of Clostridium botulinum, whose DNA was found in the pulp of a molar belonging to Pablo Neruda, is the cause of the death that occurred at 10:30 p.m. on the night of September 23, 1973.

This is the main conclusion that emerges from the two reports of 30 pages (each) prepared by experts from the Ancient DNA Center of MacMaster University (Canada); and the Forensic Genetics Section, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen (Denmark).

In this way, the version given by the assistant to the poet Manuel Araya to this editor would be corroborating, in order that Neruda was assassinated by means of an unscheduled injection in the abdomen, at around 4 in the afternoon of that September 23, version immortalized in a report Neruda was assassinated (Francisco Marín; Process 1801, May 8, 2011) which determined the opening of the investigation Rol 1038-2011 “Caso Neruda”, in the same month and year of the aforementioned publication.

This third panel of «genomic proteomic» experts arose after the second panel -which operated between 2015 and 2017- found Clostridiumbotulinum DNA in the bulb of a molar, making it necessary to determine whether or not it was homicidal.

In said instance, the invalidity of the medical death certificate issued on September 24, 1973, which established cachexia due to metastatic prostate cancer as the cause of death, was also concluded.

The certificate was drawn up on September 24, 1973 by Neruda’s attending physician, urologist Roberto Vargas Salazar, who was not present at the clinic when Neruda died or in the hours that followed.

Various testimonies collected by this researcher, in addition to Araya’s, such as that provided by the now extinct Mexican ambassador in Chile, Gonzalo Martínez Corbalá; as well as others that appear in the file of this cause (of more than 4 thousand pages) such as those issued by Matilde Urrutia herself and the nurses who assisted Neruda in his final hours, agree in stating that he was not seriously ill or much less in the Santa María clinicIn fact, there he worked on his memoirs together with his secretary (also murdered) Homero Arce; and «he stayed reading almost all day» as witnessed by the nurse Patricia Albornoz (on page 256).

“He (was) in bed. He liked to have some stuffed animals on his bed, stuffed toys and there he had some…. he made jokes… he talked”, according to what Ambassador Martínez Corbalá pointed out to us (Marín y Casasús: The double murder of Neruda, 8 Books, 2012).

Neruda’s laboratory tests – while he was alive – did show that he suffered from a severe urinary infection that apparently was not being properly treated, but that in no case could it have caused him a death as sudden as the one he suffered. Note that Neruda was never in intensive care and the only medicines he received were those given by his wife.

If he had been seriously ill -as those close to the Neruda Foundation say- the least that should have been done in what was then considered the best private clinic in the country, was to have received monitoring of his vital signs, serum, nursing control and not having died only assisted by relatives and a friend, as happened.

The truth is Neruda went to said clinic as a step prior to his trip to Mexico, which would materialize on the morning of September 22 and which was later postponed to the 24th of that month, so the trip could not be completed.

Long wait

The spokesman for the Second Panel (Genomics) Aurelio Luna, professor of the Department of Social and Health Sciences of the University of Murcia, pointed out – flanked by 11 other experts meeting at the San Francisco hotel, in the Chilean capital, on October 20, 2017 – that Microbial genomics studies will make it possible to confirm or exclude, in a period of between six months and a year, the action of a third party in the death of the poet, «since with the currently existing results and while waiting for these results, we cannot even exclude nor confirm the natural or violent nature of the death of Pablo Neruda”.

However, those 6 months turned into more than 5 years. Determinant in this were the constant delays and obstacles filed by the Legal Medical Service (SML) for the clarification of this case. Said entity even refused to deliver soil samples collected around the urn of Neruda and his widow Matilde Urrutia, in Isla Negra, which he had in his possession. These were necessary to analyze the possible existence of C.botulinum, in the surroundings of Neruda’s tombs, a fact that, if it had materialized, could have explained the presence in Neruda’s body (due to contamination) of this lethal bacterium.

The visiting minister Mario Carroza (who substantiated this case until the end of 2019) had to order the search of the SML to obtain these samples, which he finally achieved.

Another of the obstacles was the null support provided by the Government of Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022) to the financing of this third panel, which in the end was never delivered. The pandemic also played against the clarification of the Neruda case, since the international laboratories involved had to prioritize -for a time- the fight against the epidemic before clarifying the death of the Chilean Nobel Prize. However, now, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup, the moment of truth seems to have arrived for Neruda.

Third Panel «genomic proteomic»

This third panel (of a hybrid or blended nature) began on January 24 and continues until this Friday, February 3, the day on which the experts will deliver the first conclusions to Minister Paola Plaza, in charge of the case since January 2020.

This will take place in a meeting to begin at 3:00 p.m. this Friday the 3rd. After that, the experts and lawyers of the complaining parties (Communist Party, Kings Succession and Ministry of the Interior) will talk with the press. However, the final reports and definitive conclusions will be delivered to Minister Plaza on March 7. For the rest, it will be her (and not the experts) who will finally determine if Neruda was assassinated or not.

According to the resolution of January 12 of the present, of the aforementioned magistrate, the task of «search and determination of molecular traces using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology» was in charge of doctors Debi and HendrikPoinar (MacMaster); and Niels Morling and Marie Louise Kampmann.

NGS experts Romilio Espejo (PhD in Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics; in addition to Chilean National Science Award) and María Paz Weisshaar (PhD in Microbiology and Genetic Engineering) were appointed as independent reviewers of the MacMaster and Copenhagen reports and conclusions. , respectively.

The infectologist Alexis Diomedi had to provide background information regarding Clostridiumbotulinum and diseases associated with its presence in humans.

The coordinator of this third panel is Dr. Gloria Ramírez Donoso (M.Sc International HealthManagement Development) appointed for that function by Judge Carroza, in March 2018.

In this third and decisive meeting of the experts in the Neruda case – to which the SML was not invited – «the big difference was made by the application of NGS, which allowed a forensic microbiological process to be carried out,» according to an important source from the cause.

As Dr. Romilio Espejo pointed out -in a report dated June 9, 2013 addressed to Minister Carroza- «the new methodologies of massive DNA sequencing (NGS, for its acronym in English) have been used in medicine, including forensic medicine, making it possible to obtain evidence impossible to achieve with previous methods. This technology stands out for allowing large amounts of DNA sequence data to be obtained that make it possible to identify the origin of the sample and the presence of DNA from foreign organisms in it, even if they are tissues that have suffered extensive degradation”.

This methodology considers the use of autoanalyzer equipment for thousands of samples at the same time.

As a result of its use, the Alaska E43 strain could be found in the only molar that Neruda had without cavities or fillings and, therefore, prevented contamination with external agents.

In a dental piece, the roots, at their apex, have a micro-orifice through which blood that has been driven by the heart from the left ventriloquist penetrates, which is what goes to the tissues. There go the globules and eventually the anaerobic bacteria (which require a medium with little or no oxygen) as in the case of Clostridiumbotulinum.

The conclusions

The organization of the writing of the Panel’s conclusions was organized around three questions:

1.- Was the bacteria found in the molar endogenous or exogenous? This aimed to discern whether this bacterium entered Neruda’s body before or after his death.

Both laboratories (Canada and Denmark) reached the same conclusion: the bacterium was acquired by Neruda before he died, that is, it is endogenous.

It should be noted that it is not normal for an organism to carry this bacterium without developing severe botulism.

Note that botulinum toxin (produced by Clostridium bottulinum) "causes the most potent poisoning known," according to The New Encyclopaedia Britannica 15th Ed. (founded 1768), Vol 3: Micropaedia.

2.- How pathogenic is the strain of clostridiumbotulinum found in Neruda:

The Alaska E43 strain is one of the most pathogenic of those registered or classified.

Genetic material remained from this bacterium but not toxicological material, however, this is explained because it disappears as it is a protein and degrades over time.

3.- Could the bacteria be associated with the death of Neruda?

Yes, it could. It is not common for there to be cases of Clostridiumbotulinum in a hospital. On the other hand, during Neruda’s hospitalization there are no known cases of the presence of Clostridiumbotulinum.

Likewise, given its lethality, there is no asymptomatic carriage of this bacillus or bacterium.

The fact that it was found in the bulb of a molar implies that it entered through the bloodstream.

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When asked by Judge Plaza regarding the entry doors of the bacteria, the infectologist Diomedi replied that one possibility is that it entered Neruda’s body through the omentum apron , which is in the abdomen area and that it is rich. in arterial, venous and lymphatic vascularization. This implies that this bacterium could have spread systemically (generally), rapidly, which could have meant death in a few hours.

A well-informed source in the case -who preferred to keep his identity confidential- told us that this crime required significant medical, surgical and microbiological knowledge to be as effective as it was. However, he clarifies that the cultivation of Clostridiumbotulinum in the laboratory is not highly complex, so it could even have been carried out in the same laboratory as the clinic.

According to what Marcela Ferrés, Physician and Professor of Pediatrics at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Virology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, indicates, «an infectious agent is selected to be used as a biological weapon if it meets the requirements of high infectivity (dose low infectious rate), high contagiousness (high rate of secondary cases), high lethality (no antimicrobial treatment available or difficult to access or highly toxic), and no antidotes or vaccines”.

The researcher adds (in the article Biological Agents and Bioterrorism, published in No. 73, V.1, of the Chilean Journal of Pediatrics, January 2002) that «examples of highly lethal infectious diseases are inhalational anthrax and intoxication botulinum”.

In relation to the latter, it stands out: «Botulism presents as a progressive and symmetrical muscular paralysis that ends in respiratory failure in variable terms depending on the route of entry of the toxin (…) The muscular paralysis picture is irreversible without ventilatory support, the which may be necessary for weeks or months while the nerve endings blocked by the toxin at the presynaptic level are regenerated. Botulinum toxin is the most lethal of all toxins, requiring amounts on the order of 0.001 microgram/kg to cause death in 50% of those who receive it.

Source: By Francisco Marin, El ciudadano, Chile

Voir aussi : https://albagranadanorthafrica.wordpress.com/2023/02/01/pablo-neruda-chant-damour-a-stalingrad-1942/