With the confirmation that the two-time former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, died in a helicopter accident this Tuesday, when he fell into Lake Ranco, in the Los Ríos region, the news generated commotion among the world political leadership.
The Government issued a statement. “In the name of Argentine Statewe send our condolences to his family, friends and all the Chilean people,” they spread from the Office of President Javier Milei.
Piñera's last publication on Twitter had precisely been congratulating Javier Milei for having won the presidential elections: “Congratulations to @JMilei for his great presidential victory and to the Argentine people for a beautiful democratic day. May the ideas and forces of Freedom guide and lead Argentina along the paths of Freedom, Justice and Progress,” he wrote on November 19, the day of the ballot, at 9:03 p.m.
Mauricio Macri, personal friend de Piñera and with whom he shared parallel mandates, expressed his sadness at the news. She highlighted him as “good people, committed like no one else to Chile and to the values of freedom and democracy in Latin America.”
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and a notable leader,” the former president lamented on his X account.
Immense sadness for the death of my dear friend Sebastián Piñera. Good people, committed like no one else to Chile and to the values of freedom and democracy in Latin America… It really is a total, irreplaceable loss. Today I say goodbye to a friend and a notable leader.…
— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) February 6, 2024
In the Argentine Congress, while the articles of the Omnibus Law were being debated, the debate was interrupted by deputy Miguel Ángel Pichetto to ask for a minute of silence by Piñera.
Deputy Miguel Ángel Pichetto asked for a minute of silence for the death of the former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.
On the other side of the political arc, the former presidents Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner showed their regret for the death of Piñera.
For her part, Cristina remembered him as a person with a sense of humor and despite the political differences, she highlighted him for being a democratic person. She also mentioned her gratitude for having accompanied her during the BIcentennial celebrations along with the other leaders of South America.
I met Sebastián Piñera when we were both Presidents, I remember when he accompanied us in the Bicentennial celebrations along with the other leaders from all of South America. As everyone knows, we did not have the same ideas, but he always united us in a relationship of great respect: he was…
— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) February 6, 2024
“As everyone knows, we did not have the same ideas, but we were always united by a relationship of great respect: he was a right-wing but deeply democratic man. I fondly remember his sense of humor and the warmth of his family, whom I met in Chile. “All my condolences to them.”
For his part, Alberto used a photo with his Chilean counterpart hugging and smiling: “I remember him with sincere affection enjoying beautiful encounters that remain in me beyond our differences,” he said and then extended his condolences to the family.
I just learned of the death of the former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.
I remember him with sincere affection, enjoying beautiful encounters that remain in me beyond our differences.
My condolences to his family and to all who loved him. pic.twitter.com/YAlraLREiO
— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) February 6, 2024
The current Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich also remembered it. “It doesn't leave a Democrat with deep convictions,” she wrote.
Much sadness over the death of President Sebastián Piñera. He leaves us a democrat, with deep convictions and whom I will remember with great affection.
His legacy of commitment to his country and to Latin America will live on in our collective conscience.
Rest in peace, Sebastian, and… pic.twitter.com/tYytyWEQ3Z
— Patricia Bullrich (@PatoBullrich) February 6, 2024
The shock of the death of Sebastián Piñera among the leaders of the world
Shortly after the news became known, the Chilean president Gabriel Boric ordered that a state funeral be held “accordingly” and that it be declared National duel.
Carolina Tohá, Minister of the Interior of Chile, confirmed this in statements to the press.
The official began the message by saying: “To send our solidarity hug to the former president's family, to all those close to him, but also to all Chileans. Because Sebastián Piñera was president of Chile, democratic president of Chile in two opportunities and will consequently receive all the republican honors and recognitions it deserves.
“President Piñera governed us and we will remember him for the way he gave and dedicated his life to public service.”
Also Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean president on two occasions, lamented the death of Piñera and highlighted the former president's “commitment” to his country. Through a statement she spoke of the “tireless work” and “service to the nation” of the two-time Chilean head of state.
For his part, the former president of Colombia, Ivan Duquewas one of the first to be moved online by the death of Piñera, whom he considered “a great friend and companion.”
I feel the greatest pain for the death of my great friend and colleague Sebastián Piñera. A unique leader, an upright human being and a friend like few others who always supported Colombia. My solidarity with his entire family.
Dear Sebastian, you will always be in our memory and… pic.twitter.com/ATle8pFpRk
— Ivan Duke (@IvanDuque) February 6, 2024
Alvaro Uribewho also governed Colombia, came out to remember the former Chilean president.
I express our pain at the death of former President Piñera of Chile. All our solidarity with his family and with the democracy of our brother country.
President Piñera was a great friend of Colombia and I personally had a friendship with him, which I value very much, since 2004.
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) February 6, 2024
“I was in numerous international meetings with him and, although we did not agree ideologically, we worked side by side on several issues,” he highlighted. Evo Moralesformer president of Bolivia, in his message of condolences online.
Press reports report the unfortunate death of the former president of Chile @sebastianpinera.
I was in numerous international meetings with him and, although we did not agree ideologically, we worked side by side on several issues.
My condolences to your loved ones… pic.twitter.com/WTIgh3pjRz
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) February 6, 2024
The Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle Pouwas another of the South American leaders who expressed himself on social networks and lamented the tragedy.
I met President Piñera several years ago. He always had a positive attitude towards Uruguay and personally. As an example, it is enough to name his support with the logistics offered for the arrival of the vaccines during the pandemic. To the Chileans and their family my condolences. RIP
— Luis Lacalle Pou (@LuisLacallePou) February 6, 2024
“I met President Piñera several years ago. He always had a positive attitude towards Uruguay and personally. As an example, it is enough to mention his support with the logistics offered for the arrival of vaccines during the pandemic. To the Chileans and their family, my condolences “, public.
In addition, Lenín Moreno, former president of Ecuador, remembered Piñera and said that he will remain in history: “Those who supported him in his administration and share his ideas will know how to keep his name in the annals of Chilean democracy.”