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Chile: ICRC observer in exhumation of Pablo Neruda's remains

08-04-2013 News Release 13/57

Brasilia / Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to act as an observer in the exhumation of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

The process will begin on 8 April in Isla Negra, Chile. The ICRC was asked to participate by Chile's national forensic service and the poet's family.

"The ICRC will help ensure that the exhumation proceeds in accordance with international standards," said ICRC forensic pathologist Morris Tidball-Binz.

Staff from the Chilean forensic service will conduct the exhumation. They will be assisted by nine other Chilean and international experts. There will also be three neutral observers, two of them ICRC delegates. The ICRC's presence is also meant to ensure that all those involved respect the rights of the poet's family.

The ICRC has considerable experience and knowledge of using forensic science to recover, manage and identify mortal remains. The organization has over the past decade been working in this realm with the Chilean authorities and scientific community and those of other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Catta Preta, ICRC Brasilia, tel: +55 61 3248 0250 or +55 61 8116 09 35
Alexandra Manescu, ICRC Brasilia (currently in Isla Negra, Chile), tel: +56 9 6625 5930
Alexis Heeb, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 72 or +41 79 218 76 10