VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile — Sebastián Piñera, the two-time former president of Chile who confronted social upheaval adopted by a pandemic in his second time period, died Tuesday in a helicopter crash. He was 74.
Chile Inside Minister Carolina Tohá confirmed the loss of life of the previous president. No additional particulars had been instantly launched about the reason for the accident, which got here because the nation was recovering from huge lethal wildfires in a central area.
Serving as president from 2010 to 2014 and once more from 2018 to 2022, Piñera led the South American nation throughout devastating pure disasters, together with the fallout of an earthquake and a tsunami.
He additionally ruled throughout the coronavirus pandemic and positioned Chile among the many high 5 international locations for vaccination charges for the sickness.
His legacy is marred by violent police repression in October 2019 in opposition to protesters who had been demonstrating in opposition to the nation’s training, well being and pension programs courting to the nation’s 1973-90 navy dictatorship. Worldwide organizations cited mass violations of human rights within the crackdown.
The social unrest finally led to 2 makes an attempt to replace the structure inherited from the navy authorities, however each have failed.
Piñera was the proprietor of the fifth-largest fortune in Chile, estimated at some $3 billion. He labored as an instructional in a number of universities for nearly 20 years and as a advisor for the Inter-American Growth Financial institution and the World Financial institution.
As a businessman within the Seventies by way of the Nineteen Nineties, he labored in quite a lot of industries, together with actual property. He held shares in main airways, telecommunication, actual property and electrical energy firms. He additionally created one of many largest bank card firms within the nation. In 2009, he handed over the administration of his companies to others.
He entered politics representing the center-right, which was the civilian help of the navy regime. Nonetheless, when he served as an impartial senator, he voted in opposition to the extension of dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-90).
He ran thrice for president of Chile. In 2006, he misplaced to socialist Michelle Bachelet; then in 2010 he defeated former President Eduardo Frei and was elected in 2010. 4 years later, in 2018, he gained a second four-year time period after defeating a leftist impartial.
Twelve days earlier than the start of his first time period, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami claimed the lives of 525 folks and devastated the infrastructure of central-southern Chile.
Piñera’s authorities agenda was postponed to be able to tackle emergency reconstruction. In 2010, he additionally led the unprecedented rescue of 33 miners trapped for 69 days on the backside of a mine, which captured the world’s consideration.
He closed his administration having created an estimated 1 million jobs.