Neruda’s family maintains their firm belief that he had died from advanced prostate cancer. However, in 2011 authorities in Chile began looking into allegations made by Neruda’s personal assistant and former driver Manuel Araya claiming that Neruda had actually been poisoned. Araya said that Neruda had called him while in hospital sating that he felt sick after receiving a stomach injection shot. Chile’s Communist Party backed up Araya’s claims saying that Neruda never exhibited any signs of advanced cancer, which is said to have been the cause of death.
Neruda’s is best remembered for his love poems and also for being close friends with Salvador Allende, Chile’s socialist president who was toppled during the 1973 coup. Rodolfo Reyes, Neruda’s nephew, said that the family simply wanted to find out the truth and would accept the findings whether it is confirmed that Neruda did indeed die of natural causes or murder.