The former president of Chile, , who died on Tuesday in a helicopter accident, was a skilled billionaire who governed for two terms, the last one marred by a social outbreak and accusations of corruption. Former shareholder of the Chilean airline LAN – today the international LATAM -, of a television channel and of the Colo Colo soccer club, he was the first right-wing president since the return of democracy after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) .

Forbes magazine estimated his assets at $2.4 billion.

LOOK: LIVE | Sebastián Piñera, former president of Chile, dies in a helicopter accident

Enthusiastic and always active, pineapplewho had turned 74 on December 1, had a doctorate in economics from the Harvard University and was known for flying his own helicopter.

Sebastián Piñera is seen aboard his helicopter after voting in Santiago, on January 15, 2006. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP).

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Married to Cecilia Morel, father of four children and nine grandchildren, he was president of Chile twice, between 2010 and 2014 and between 2018 and 2022.

“He will have all the republican honors and recognitions he deserves,” said Interior Minister Carolina Tohá, of the left-wing government of President Gabriel Boric, as soon as the news became known.

Son of a former Christian Democrat ambassador, He was the only major Chilean businessman openly opposed to Pinochet.

Sebastián Piñera and his wife Cecilia Morel celebrate their victory with family and supporters after the second round of the elections on December 17, 2017. (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES/AFP).

Sebastián Piñera and his wife Cecilia Morel celebrate their victory with family and supporters after the second round of the elections on December 17, 2017. (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES/AFP).

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Elected senator upon the return of democracy, he aligned himself with the center-left in crucial votes in Congress, which is why he was viewed with distrust by the radical sectors of the right.

He led the renewal of the right in the so-called “Youth Patrol.” From those times comes his nickname “The Locomotive”.

In his first government he led the country’s reconstruction efforts after the powerful earthquake of February 27, 2010. and the successful rescue of the 33 miners trapped in Atacama.

True to his style, he traveled the world with a message of life for the workers trapped inside a copper mine in the Chilean desert.

Sebastián Piñera speaks during a press conference at the La Moneda presidential palace, in Santiago, on November 10, 2021. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP).

Sebastián Piñera speaks during a press conference at the La Moneda presidential palace, in Santiago, on November 10, 2021. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP).

/ MARTIN BERNETTI

He won his second term in 2017 under the slogan “Join better times”but in his second pass through The coin He did not have the same luck, since there were four years of social storms, collapse of trust in institutions and a deep disconnection between society and the elite.

The Chilean scenario took a radical turn after the social outbreak of October 2019. Massive protests unleashed by an increase in subway fares transformed into a broad demand against a free market model with the absence of the State in education, health and pensions, without social welfare.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession, but when the signs of recovery gave the president a break, the publication of the Pandora Papers on the sale of the Dominga Mining In 2010, a company owned by his children tarnished his image again.

This case led the prosecutor’s office to open a criminal investigation and the opposition to present an accusation in Parliament, where he was found innocent by a narrow margin.



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