Sebastián Pinera: The former Chilean president died in a helicopter crash, his office announced

Sebastian Vivallo Onati/Macro Agency/Getty Images

Pinera, 74, was president of Chile from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022.



CNN

Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera died in a helicopter crash in Chile.

The helicopter carrying the conservative billionaire crashed in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, according to a statement issued by his office on Tuesday. Chilean Interior Minister Carolina Toha said that the plane was carrying four people, three of whom survived the accident and are “out of danger.”

At the time of the accident, widespread rain was falling in the area, but it is unclear whether weather was the cause of the accident. The Chilean Navy recovered Piñera's body.

Pinera, 74, was president of Chile from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022.

A state funeral is scheduled for the late leader, and Chilean President Gabriel Buric has declared three days of national mourning – although it is unclear when it will begin.

The country was already in a state of national mourning over the ongoing bushfires, believed to be the worst on record, which have claimed more than 120 lives.

Toha's statement said that the Chilean government “expresses its shock over this tragedy, and extends its embrace of solidarity to the family of the former president, those close to him, but also to all Chileans.”

Piñera was educated in Chile and at Harvard University in the United States. According to Forbes, the businessman-turned-politician deserved recognition $2.7 billion. The magazine reported that he founded the credit card company Banco in the 1970s, and during his first term as president, he fulfilled his promise to liquidate his assets.

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Piñera's first term has begun In 2010 When he succeeded Michelle Bachelet, the popular president who led the country through the global economic downturn.

His second term was punctuated by massive protests and riots that rocked the country in October 2019, as demonstrators demanded better pensions, better education, and an end to an economic system that they said favored the elite.

The unrest prompted outgoing President Piñera to agree to hold a popular vote on the necessity of changing the constitution inherited from the dictatorship.

He also headed the COVID-19 response efforts in the country, which has a population of 19 million He saw one of Highest vaccination rates in the world.

“He sincerely pursued what he believed was best for the country,” Buric said Tuesday. “For example, when he undertook the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake of February 27, 2010, or when he risked…rescuing 33 miners from the San Jose mine, and, more recently, in managing the pandemic in times of crisis.” Global uncertainty.”

Regional leaders mourned Piñera's death. “I met President Piñera several years ago. He has always had a positive attitude towards Uruguay and towards me personally. For example… his support with the logistics provided for the arrival of vaccines during the pandemic,” Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou wrote on X.

Argentine President Javier Miley also sent his condolences in a post on X. “On behalf of the Argentine nation, we send our condolences to the family, friends and people of Chile,” he wrote.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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