The Legacy and Tragic Demise of Sebastián Piñera: Exploring the Source of His Vast Fortune

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Sebastián Piñera, the former president of Chile, tragically passed away on Tuesday afternoon due to a helicopter accident in Lago Ranco, a city in Chile’s central region. At the time of his passing, Piñera was 74 years old and had an estimated net worth of US$2.7 billion, or R$13.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine. This immense wealth placed him among the wealthiest individuals in Chile.

Piñera held the presidency of Chile twice, from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022. His tenure as the country’s executive was historic, as he became the first right-wing representative to hold this office since 1958. Forbes attributes his significant wealth to his own investments, highlighting his expertise in economics, as evidenced by his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Throughout his career, Piñera was involved in numerous lucrative ventures. Following the 2010 elections, he received a staggering US$1.5 billion (R$7.4 billion) for his 26% share in the Chilean airline Lan. This investment has since become part of the multinational airline, Latam. Additionally, Piñera made a significant profit through the sale of the Chilevision TV channel, which he had acquired in 2005, to the Time Warner company. The transaction amounted to US$150 million (R$744 million). Furthermore, Piñera sold his stake in Blanco & Negro, a prominent football club in the area, which further contributed to his growing wealth.

According to reports in La Tercera, Piñera’s tragic accident occurred while he was returning from a visit to his friend José Cox. While operating the helicopter, the aircraft plummeted into a lake, resulting in the loss of all four lives on board, including the politician’s sister. Fortunately, the other passengers survived the accident, aside from Piñera.

In the wake of this devastating event, the former president’s office released an official statement expressing gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of affection and concern received during this difficult time. The statement further mentioned that the details of Piñera’s funeral arrangements would be announced at a later date.

Carolina Tohá, the Minister of the Interior, confirmed that the Navy had located Piñera’s body. The helicopter had carried a total of four individuals, and while the other three managed to reach the shore safely, the same could not be said for former president Piñera. The authorities recovered his remains at the scene of the accident.

The accident occurred shortly after 3 pm local time amidst cloudy and wet conditions, contributing to low visibility. Reports from La Nácion indicate that Piñera may have perished due to being unable to remove his seatbelt before the helicopter submerged approximately 40 meters underwater.

Sebastián Piñera’s passing has left a void in Chile’s political landscape, prompting the ministry to announce that he will receive a state burial. In accordance with the instructions of the current president, Gabriel Boric, the nation will enter a period of national mourning. The people of Chile, including Piñera’s family and friends, are deserving of our deepest sympathies. President Piñera will be remembered as a leader who governed the country with dedication and commitment, and his legacy will be honored by the Republican Party. “We will remember President Piñera as the one who governed us,” stated Minister Tohá.