14 Mar 2013

Date set to exhume poet's remains

8:02 am on 14 March 2013

The remains of Chilean Nobel prize winning poet Pablo Neruda will be exhumed in April to determine if he died of cancer or was poisoned.

The leftist, who died 12 days after the 1973 military coup that ousted socialist president Salvador Allende and brought General Augusto Pinochet to power, was long believed to have died of prostate cancer.

However, in 2011 officials started examining the possibility he was poisoned by agents of the Pinochet regime, as claimed by Mr Neruda's driver.

A judicial source has told the AFP news agency the remains will be exhumed on April 8.

The exhumation was ordered last month but no specific date had been made public.

Mr Neruda won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature and is best known for his love poems as well as his "Canto General" - an epic poem about South America's history and its people.