The former president of Chile Sebastián Piñera died this Tuesday after the helicopter in which he was traveling with three other people crashed into Lake Ranco, in the Los Ríos region, in the center of the Andean country.
Sources close to the former president have confirmed this to the UNO Agency, while the Los Ríso Regional Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the launch of an investigation into the event, according to ‘La Tercera’.
Previously, the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service had issued a brief statement confirming a helicopter accident on Lake Ranco with one person dead and three injured. Firefighters and police have traveled to the scene.
The Presidency of Argentina has been the first institution to officially convey, and on behalf of the Argentine State, its condolences “to his family, friends and to all the Chilean people” for the death of the former president.
The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has sent his condolences to “family and friends” of Piñera, and has stated that the organization accompanies the Chilean people “in these moments of sadness.”
Along the same lines, the Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle Pou, has praised Piñera’s “positive attitude” towards Uruguay, exemplified by his support for the shipment of coronavirus vaccines during the pandemic.
FORMER SOUTH AMERICAN PRESIDENTS REMEMBER PIÑERA
For his part, former Colombian president Iván Duque has shared a publication on social networks in which he remembers the figure of his “great friend and companion”, for whom he feels “the greatest pain.” “A unique leader, a complete human being,” he noted.
His predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, has expressed his regret for the loss of “a great ally of Colombia”, who “supported and was a guarantor of the peace process” in the country and with whom the Pacific Alliance was promoted, also integrated through Peru and Mexico.
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe has expressed his pain at the death of Piñera, whom he considers “a great friend of Colombia” and with whom he had a “friendly” relationship for years.
Another former South American president, Argentine Mauricio Macri, has acknowledged feeling “enormous sadness” over the death of his “dear friend.” “Good people, committed like no one else to Chile and to the values of freedom and democracy in Latin America,” he said.
Piñera, 74, served as president of Chile for two terms, the first between 2010 and 2014; and years later between 2018 and 2022, being then succeeded by the current president of the country, Gabriel Boric.