ISLA NEGRA, Chile April 8, 2013 (AP)
Chilean forensic experts exhumed the body of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda on Monday, trying to solve a four-decade mystery about the death of one the greatest poets of the 20th century.The official version is that that the poet died from prostate cancer and the trauma of witnessing the 1973 military coup that led to the persecution and killing of many of his friends. But his driver and many other Chileans say Neruda was murdered by agents of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's brutal dictatorship.
Experts were concerned that high salinity and humidity could affect the exhumation at Neruda's home in Isla Negra, a rocky outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
But Patricio Bustos, head of Chile's medical legal service, said Neruda's casket is in good shape after the one-hour exhumation. After draping Neruda's coffin in the Chilean national flag, forensics workers took his remains to the capital for tests. They could also be analyzed abroad and Bustos said they have offers from labs in the United States and Europe.
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