The Wealth and Tragic End of Sebastián Piñera: Chile’s Former President and Billionaire


Sebastián Piñera, a 74-year-old former president of Chile, tragically passed away on the afternoon of September 6th, 2022, following a helicopter accident in Lago Ranco, a city in Chile’s central region. While his presidency and political accomplishments have left an indelible mark on Chilean history, Piñera was also known for his significant wealth, with Forbes magazine estimating his fortune at $2.7 billion, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in Chile.

Piñera served as the president of Chile from 2010 to 2014 and then again from 2018 to 2022, his tenure as executive marked a significant milestone for Chilean politics, as he was the first right-wing representative to hold the office since 1958. According to Forbes, Piñera’s wealth primarily derived from his own investments, bolstered by his impressive credentials which included a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Throughout his lifetime, Piñera was involved in various lucrative ventures. Notably, he garnered a substantial sum of $1.5 billion after the 2010 elections by selling his 26% share in the Chilean airline Lan. Today, Lan forms part of the transnational company Latam. Piñera also profited from the sale of the Chilevision TV channel, which he had acquired in 2005, to the Time Warner company for a remarkable $150 million. Additionally, he divested his stakes in Blanco & Negro, a prominent football club in the region, further contributing to his amassed wealth.

Tragically, Piñera’s life came to a sudden end during his return from a visit to his friend José Cox, as he piloted the helicopter carrying him and three other individuals. The aircraft crashed into a lake, resulting in the tragic deaths of all four passengers, including Piñera’s sister. The remaining passengers survived the accident and were brought safely to shore, but Piñera was unable to free himself from his seatbelt, leading to his demise. The Navy promptly located and recovered Piñera’s body, and the nation mourned the loss of a former president.

In the aftermath of Piñera’s passing, an official statement from his office expressed gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of affection and concern received during this difficult time. It also announced that details regarding the funeral arrangements would be released later. With Piñera’s legacy as a prominent political figure, his state burial has been confirmed by the Ministry, and Chile will observe a period of national mourning, per the instructions of the current president, Gabriel Boric.

As Chileans, we extend our deepest sympathies to Piñera’s family, friends, and loved ones, as well as to the nation as a whole. Regardless of personal or political affiliations, Piñera’s contributions to the country as a twice-serving president warrant acknowledgement, respect, and remembrance. His impact on Chile’s political landscape will forever be remembered, and the Republican Party will honor his memory accordingly. Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, solemnly remarked, “We will remember President Piñera as the one who governed us.”

The tragic accident that claimed Sebastián Piñera’s life serves as a reminder of how fragile our existence can be. It emphasizes the importance of cherishing our loved ones and treasuring every moment we have together. Piñera’s untimely demise has left a void in Chilean politics and society, but his memory will endure as a symbol of perseverance, leadership, and determination. May he rest in peace.