Chile Holds State Funeral to Give Former President Pinera Final Farewell

Chile’s former President Sebastian Pinera died in a tragic helicopter crash in southern Chile, and a state funeral is being held for him in the capital of Santiago.

President Gabriel Boric expressed his condolences during the ceremony at the country’s former Congress, acknowledging Pinera’s role as a leader in Chile’s transition to democracy.

The funeral services began on Wednesday with a private viewing and continued with a public procession. The funeral mass took place on Friday, with a military band escorting Pinera’s coffin to a cathedral in Santiago. He will later be buried in a private family ceremony.

Pinera, a conservative billionaire, served as President from 2010 to 2014 and oversaw times of economic growth and protests. Despite being political adversaries, Boric and Pinera were able to reach compromises and had a discussion the day before Pinera’s death.

Large crowds gathered to pay their respects to the former president, who also oversaw the dramatic rescue of 33 miners trapped under the Atacama desert. Some of the miners were present at the funeral, remembering Pinera’s words of reassurance during the rescue efforts.

Despite criticism during his second term for business dealings and human rights violations, church members are calling for unity and remembrance of Pinera.

Overall, it has been a highly emotional and eventful funeral, marking the passing of a significant public figure in Chilean history.

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