Reaction to Chilean ex-president Pinera’s death in helicopter crash

(Reuters) -Chilean ex-President Sebastian Pinera, who ran the country from 2010-2014 and 2018-2022, died in a helicopter crash on Tuesday in the south of the country. Authorities recovered his body and there will be a state funeral on Friday.

Following are some reactions to the news:

FORMER PRESIDENT PINERA’S OFFICE

“Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. We are grateful for the massive outpouring of affection we have received during these bitter hours.”

CHILE’S PRESIDENT GABRIEL BORIC

“He was a democrat from the first hour and genuinely sought what he believed was best for the country – for example, when he led the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake of Feb. 27, 2010, or when he managed with great determination and audacity the rescue of the 33 miners of the San Jose mine, or also, more recently, in the management of the pandemic.”

BRAZIL’S PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA

“Surprised and saddened by the death of Sebastian Pinera, former president of Chile. We worked together to strengthen the relationship between our countries, and always had a good dialogue when we were both presidents and also when we were not. Very sad that he passed away so abruptly. My condolences to his family and friends.”

ARGENTINA’S FORMER PRESIDENT MAURICIO MACRI

“Immense sadness at the death of my dear friend Sebastian Pinera. He was a good person, 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 bid farewell to a friend and a remarkable leader. All my love to his family.”

MEXICO’S FORMER PRESIDENT FELIPE CALDERON

“It pains me deeply to learn of the death of my friend Sebastian Pinera. His family loses an exemplary husband and father, and Chile, one of its best presidents.”

PARAGUAY’S FORMER PRESIDENT MARIO ABDO

“In the toughest moments, Pinera was always supporting of Paraguay and the entire region. Just yesterday we were on a video call with a group of former presidents. We are deeply shocked by this sad news. My solidarity to the entire Pinera family and the Chilean people.”

COLOMBIA’S FORMER PRESIDENT IVAN DUQUE

“I feel the deepest pain for the death of my great friend and colleague Sebastian Pinera. A unique leader, a human being of integrity, and a friend like few others who always supported Colombia. My sympathy goes out to his entire family.”

ARGENTINA’S FORMER PRESIDENT CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER

“As everyone knows, we didn’t have the same ideas, but we were always united by a relationship of great respect. He was a man of the right, but profoundly democratic. I fondly remember his sense of humor and the warmth of his family, whom I met in Chile. All my condolences to them.”

SPAIN’S PRIME MINISTER PEDRO SANCHEZ

“My condolences to his family and friends, as well as to the government and all the Chilean people. During his tenure, we strengthened ties between our two countries and together we made COP 25 possible at a crucial time in the fight against the climate emergency. Rest in peace.”

(Compiled by Valentine Hilaire, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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