Sebastián Piñera, the two-term ex-president of Chile, tragically died on Tuesday in a helicopter crash. He was 74 years old.
Chile’s Interior Minister, Carolina Tohá, confirmed the former president’s death, although no further information regarding the accident’s cause was immediately available.
According to a statement released by Chile’s National Disaster Prevention and Response Service, the accident occurred in Lago Ranco, a remote town in southern Chile.
Piñera, a billionaire center-right politician, served two separate terms as president — first from 2010 to 2014, and then from 2018 to 2022. His second term was notably marked by significant social unrest over inequality issues, as well as two attempts by the opposition to impeach him. Throughout his leadership, he steered the South American nation through various crises, including the aftermath of a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Tohá paid tribute to Piñera’s dedication to public service, acknowledging his impactful governance and emphasizing his enduring legacy. Chile President Gabriel Boric, in response, decreed a state funeral alongside a period of national mourning to honor Piñera’s memory.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and colleague Sebastián Piñera,” expressed Iván Duque, Colombia’s former right-wing president, from 2018 to 2022. “Sebastián, you will remain in our hearts, and we will uphold your legacy.”