Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chile doubt the deaths of two presidents, a minister and a Nobel Prize

Fuencis Rausell. Santiago de Chile .- Two decades after the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), Chile has opened in the last two years many questions about the deaths of two presidents, Salvador Allende and Eduardo Frei, a former minister, Jose Toha, and a Nobel Prize, the poet Pablo Neruda.

The causes of their deaths, attributed in the case of Allende and Tohá to two separate suicide and, elsewhere, disease or infection, have been challenged with the filing of complaints and the opening of judicial investigations that seek to clarify a few episodes heretofore considered closed.

The most emblematic case is, without doubt, the late President Salvador Allende, whose death at the Palacio de la Moneda, besieged and bombarded by the troops coup that allowed the rise of dictator Augusto Pinochet, became a symbol for the Latin American Left and European. The official version, and also the most widespread and accepted even by his family, made it clear that his death on September 11, 1973, was due to suicide, and this was established for 38 years until last January, the prosecution presented Judge Mario Carroza 726 complaints of cases were never investigated.

After receiving a forensic report in April that revealed discrepancies between autopsy ordered by the military regime and a survey done by the Police Department, the judge ordered to exhume the remains of Allende, who since last May 26 are being subjected to additional expertise for clarify the circumstances of his death.

A doubt about what happened in the assault on La Moneda are now joined by uncertainties about the death of Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) Pablo Neruda, who died in Santiago's Santa María Clinic on September 23, 1973, twelve days after the coup. The Communist Party (PC) of Chile filed a lawsuit Tuesday that the judge himself Chariot investigate whether the poet, who was a member of that party and ambassador to France during the Allende government, was murdered and not due to prostate cancer , as established by the official account of events.

The questions were opened in early May, when Manuel Araya, driver and personal assistant Neruda, said in an interview with the Mexican process that the poet was killed with a shot that was administered by a doctor, and not due to a worsening of his cancer. While there are new sides that can change the story of the country's recent history, Justice continues with investigations into the deaths of former President Eduardo Frei and Allende's former minister José Toha, which could hide behind the shadow of the dictatorship.

Tohá died in March 1974 at the Santiago Military Hospital, where he had been transferred because of the state of weakness that remained after the torture in prison and in the inhospitable Dawson Island in the far south, where they were confined to officials of the ousted government. In 2009, Alfonso Chelan exforense of the Investigative Police of Chile, told Efe that the hospital found the body of Toha, measuring about 1.90 meters, hanging in a closet but strangely feet flat on the ground and legs bent.

Justice in November 2010 ordered the exhumation of Tohá after learning that a forensic examination established that the former minister died of "asphyxiation by manual strangulation homicidal in nature" and not a suicide by hanging and said the dictatorship. A month later, her body was exhumed Tohá, and based on that analysis, there were two, one from the Legal Medical Service, which said it could have been strangled, and one from the University of Chile, which maintains that his death could be due both suicide as a murder.

Meanwhile, the Justice also continues with the investigation initiated in 2009 to investigate the death of former President Eduardo Frei (1964-1970), in 1982, leading an incipient opposition to dictatorship. Frei was submitted in late 1981 to a single character surgery, due to a hiatal hernia, also in the Santa Maria clinic, but after the operation her condition worsened until the January 22, 1982 died at age 71 .

Officially, the death would have been produced by a bacterial infection that would have led to septicemia, but the judicial investigation suggests that in reality was poisoned and Judge Alejandro Solis indicted six people, including four doctors, for his alleged role in the crime . The opening of inquiries on these cases has surprised not only the Chilean society, but also to the families of those killed, some of which have become known figures from political life today.

Allende's daughter, Senator Isabel Allende, Frei's son, also a former president Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (1994-2000), and the daughter of Joseph Tohá Tohá Carolina exportavoz of President Michelle Bachelet, also support these inquiries with which the Court seeks to remove the doubts and close one of the darkest episodes in the history of Chile.

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