The former president of Chile Sebastian Piñera He died this Tuesday at the age of 74 in a helicopter accident that occurred in Lago Ranco, south of the country, in which three people were injured, confirmed the office of the former president and the Government of Gabriel Boric. “It is with deep regret that we announce the death of the former president of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique. During the afternoon of this Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the former president suffered a plane accident in the Los Ríos Region. Information about his funeral will be reported in due course. “We appreciate the massive expressions of affection and concern that we have received during these bitter hours,” his office said in a statement.
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The Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Carolina Tohá, also confirmed the death of the former president. No further details have been released about the causes of the accident or those who died. The government of Chili decreed national mourning and the organization of state funerals for pineapple.
“He will have all the Republican honors and recognitions he deserves,” Tohá said in a brief appearance before the media from the Palacio de la Moneda, headquarters of the Presidency.
pineappletrend of center right, governed in two periods. In the first, from 2010 to 2014, he had to undertake the reconstruction of an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale and subsequent tsunami that left 525 dead in the south of the country.
In his second term, from 2018 to 2022, he faced massive mobilizations by Chileans in a social outbreak that led to two failed attempts to replace the current Constitution, inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
What happened in Lago Ranco?
According to press reports, The former president was at the controls of the device, he was trapped by the seat belt, and sank into the lakefrom where security and emergency services are now trying to remove his body.
Piñera was born on December 1, 1949in Santiago, was the father of four children, was a member of the Christian Democratic Party (DC)served as ambassador to Belgium and to the UN in the Government of Eduardo Frei Montalva.
Graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, he had a doctorate from Harvard University. and began working as a consultant in institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the world Bankwhile in 1978, he assumed the general management of Banco de Talca, a position he left in 1980.
In 1989launched his campaign as independent candidate for senator for the Metropolitan Regionfor the parliamentary elections of the same year, which he won.
After being elected, he joined the conservative party. National Renewal (RN), which he would preside from 2001. Four years later He ran for the country’s presidency for the first time, position that he would achieve in January 2010the year in which he faced Frei Ruiz-Tagle in a second round.
In this, he won with 51.60% of the votes over the candidate of the Concertation which achieved 48.39%. On March 11, 2010 she assumed the Presidency of Chile, which he held until March 11, 2014.
He was elected again in 2018, in a very controversial second term in which the “social explosion” took place, the largest popular protest in Chili since the end of the dictatorship, which was brutally repressed.
According to the local press, Throughout his life, the former president generated a great fortune due to his investments, those involving various businesses, from airlines to soccer teams. Although years ago he was not dedicated to the direct administration of his companies, but rather to the purchase and sale of them, and to participation in his board of directors.
Respected by his rivals
During his last term (2018-2022), Piñera faced the social outbreak of October 2019, when massive protests unleashed by an increase in subway fares ended up becoming a great protest against a free market model with the absence of the State in education, health, pensions and without social welfare.
The Covid pandemic was added to the social upheavalpolitical polarization grew due to the debate over changing the Constitution and an economic crisis was felt that Chili I hadn’t lived in 30 years.
When the signs of recovery gave him a break, the publication of the Pandora Papers about the sale of the Dominga Mining In 2010, a company owned by his children tarnished his image again.
Piñera ended his last term with great popular disapproval.
Only in recent months has he reappeared at key moments to give his conservative position regarding the main problems of Chileans.
“I always valued former President Piñera’s commitment to our country and democracy, as well as his tireless work and service to the nation. May he rest in peace,” lamented former president Michelle Bachelet. (2006-2010 and 2014-2018).
This Tuesday, the news of his death triggered messages of respect from political leaders of all tendencies, including the Communist Party, the extreme right and the Christian Democrats.
“Beyond the democratic differences, his figure remains in the history of our country with the presidential legacy of his two governments. We value his vocation for service and effort to do what he thought was right for the progress and future of Chili”said a statement from the Christian Democrats.