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Former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera dies helicopter crash

Former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera died in a helicopter crash at 74. He led Chile during a pandemic and social unrest.

Sebastián Piñera, the two-time former president of Chile, passed away at the age of 74 in a helicopter crash. This tragic event was confirmed by Chile Interior Minister Carolina Tohá, but no further details about the cause of the accident have been released.

Piñera served as president from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022, leading the South American nation through several crises, including an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami. His administration gained international attention for the successful rescue of trapped Chilean miners in 2010 and for Chile's high vaccination rates during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, his legacy was marred by violent police repression against protesters in 2019, leading to two failed attempts to update the country's constitution. His death comes as Chile is already recovering from massive deadly wildfires in the central region.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric honored Piñera as a leader who sought the best for his country, highlighting his management of the pandemic and other emergencies. The news of Piñera's death drew an outpouring of condolences from leaders and former leaders across Latin America, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentinian President Javier Milei.

Piñera, who was the owner of the fifth-largest fortune in Chile, had a diverse career that included working as an academic, a consultant for international organizations, and a businessman. He entered politics representing the center-right and ran three times for president, ultimately serving two terms.

During his first term, he led the emergency reconstruction efforts after the earthquake and the unprecedented rescue of 33 miners trapped for 69 days. His leadership during these crises captured the world's attention and showcased the resilience and spirit of the Chilean people.

In the end, Piñera's life and legacy are a testament to his dedication to his country, his ability to navigate crises, and his commitment to public service. His passing is a loss not only for Chile but for the entire Latin American region.

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