Boric receives Piñera’s body in Santiago and an awakening begins in the Old Congress.

The coffin of former President Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014, 2018-2022), who died in a plane crash on Tuesday, arrived in Santiago shortly after noon this Wednesday from the Los Ríos region of southern Chile, in a helicopter piloted by After Hood at Rancho Lake. They covered him with the Chilean flag on the landing strip of Air Force Group 10, where President Gabriel Boric was waiting for him, a gesture that is not in official protocol. The President, along with his three ministers, expressed their condolences to Pinera’s directly affected family. Boryk gave a long hug to former first lady Cecilia Morel, who has received numerous expressions of affection from citizens. “Strength, Cecilia!” shouted the citizens who were waiting to say goodbye at the former National Congress, in the center of the capital.

The interior minister, Carolina Toha, and spokeswoman Camila Vallejo, as well as Chancellor Alberto Van Cleveren, in charge of managing state funerals, were also on the landing strip. Air Force officials honored Piñera in Group 10 before Cecilia Morel and her four children: Magdalena, Cecilia, Sebastian and Cristóbal.

Gabriel Boric with the family of Sebastián Piñera and government officials at the Santiago airport this Wednesday.Christopher Venegas

Starting this afternoon, Piñera is being held in the former Congressman’s Hall of Honor, with its doors opened to the public for two days. The coffin is expected to arrive at the historic building around 11:30 p.m., where friends, former officials and hundreds of supporters will wait in the street singing the national anthem, waving flags and even carrying posters bearing his presidential photo. Were staying. However, time passed, and no further news was received. The policemen standing in the queue to receive him also had to leave their places to hydrate themselves and protect themselves from the scorching sun. Shortly after 4:15 pm, he finally arrived accompanied by his immediate family.

At the former National Congress, four ministers from Boric’s cabinet, Carolina Toha, Camila Vallejo, as well as Justice Luis Cordero and the head of the Treasury, Mario Marcel, were part of the honor guard. They stood on both sides of the coffin and were applauded by those present when they left.

On the street, under umbrellas and with fans in the 33-degree heat in Santiago, people said they didn’t mind not going inside to say goodbye to Piñera, and that just seeing the body passing by was enough for them . “I think he will be remembered as a hero. Their quick action in the global pandemic for vaccines saved many lives,” says entrepreneur Loreto Codos, 60, who moved specifically from the municipality of San Miguel to the center of the capital. As the coffin arrived around 4:15 pm, people burst into the street after a languid and heated wait: “Piñera, friend, the people are with you!”

Piñera’s former political associates were walking around telling the usual stories. His former Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel did not hesitate to call him the most important centre-right leader of the 21st century and highlighted his most sensitive side. Mario Desbordes, the former president’s defense minister and party partner in National Renewal, recalled that a little more than a month earlier he had been pestering Piñera that he was going to be a presidential candidate again. He laughed and reiterated that the centre-right needs to be strengthened amid populist threats. Senator Iván Moreira of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI) said: “I put my hands in the fire for Piñera and I do not burn them on his conviction to defend human rights and democracy.”

At first, only those closest to the former president were welcomed into the Hall of Honor. He greeted Morel with loud applause, who welcomed him from a distance, while his children hugged the coffin. The family quickly left and gave access to the businessman and politician’s patient followers who were waiting in the sun. Cristian Moreno, a 55-year-old businessman, said: “It was the first right-wing government since George Alessandri (1958-1964) and it made us more developed than we are now. “Time will prove him right.” This idea was repeated among attendees: that the poor approval with which he left his second government and the specter of social outcry overshadowed his achievements, such as reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami and guaranteed universal pensions (PGU).

The state funeral lasts for three days. This Wednesday the former Congress will be open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and will welcome those who wish to say goodbye before the funeral on Friday. The prosecutor’s office confirmed this morning that the former president’s cause of death: asphyxiation due to drowning. The other three companions, his sister Magdalena, businessman Ignacio Guerrero – Piñera’s close friend – and his son Bautista Guerrero, jumped from the plane.

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(TagstoTranslate)Chile(T)America(T)Latin America(T)Sebastian Pinera(T)Funerals(T)Air crashes(T)Helicopters(T)Tributes(T)Gabriel Boric

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