Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera died in a helicopter crash in the Los Ríos area, as reported by Minister of Interior Carolina Tohá on Tuesday.
The Chilean ministry reported that three individuals on board the aircraft escaped the collision and were in stable condition. Authorities are investigating the reason for the collision, although indications indicate that there was significant rain in the region.
The Chilean Navy also verified that the former 74-year-old leader’s body had been retrieved.
Sebastian Pinera served as president from 2010 to 2014, and again from 2018 to 2022.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric proclaimed three days of national mourning upon his death, and a formal burial would be held for the late leader.
Chile was already in days of national mourning after a wildfire in the coastal state killed more than 120 people.
Tohá’s said in a statement: “Chile’s government “expresses its shock due to this tragedy, extends its hug in solidarity to the former president’s family, to those close to him, but also all Chileans.”
Quiero expresar mis más sentidas condolencias a la familia, cercanos y a quienes fueron parte de los dos gobiernos del ex Presidente Sebastián Piñera Echenique. En especial, hago llegar un abrazo cariñoso y fraterno a su esposa, Cecilia Morel, a sus hijos, Magdalena, Cecilia,… pic.twitter.com/kFWXtqwjYT
— Gabriel Boric Font (@GabrielBoric) February 6, 2024
Pinera received his schooling in Chile and at Harvard University in the United States.
Forbes assessed his net worth at $2.7 billion. He created a credit card firm, Banco, in the 1970s. During his administration, he fulfilled his campaign promise by divesting his holdings.
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“He genuinely sought what he thought was best for the country,” Boric stated on Tuesday. “For example, when he took on the reconstruction of the country after the February 27, 2010, earthquake, or when he took risks … to rescue the 33 miners from the San Jose mine, and more recently, in managing the pandemic in times of global uncertainty.”
Regional leaders lamented Pinera’s death. “I met President Pinera a few years ago. He always had a favorable attitude regarding Uruguay and myself. Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou provided logistical help for vaccination delivery throughout the epidemic.
Argentine President Javier Milei expressed his sorrow in a post on X. “On behalf of the state of Argentina, we send our condolences to the family, friends, and people of Chile,” he said in a statement.