Mourning Chile prepares state funeral for former President Pinera

Santiago (AFP)- The funeral procession with the remains of former President Sebastián Piñera, who died on Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in Lago Ranco, departed this Wednesday to applause from the city of Valdivia in southern Chile, the last of three days. Preparing for the rites. State.

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The remains of the former right-wing president (2010-2014 and 2018-2022) will travel by air force plane from Valdivia, 850 km south of Santiago, to the capital, accompanied by his widow Cecilia Morel, children, grandchildren and a son. The sister, who was accompanying Piñera on vacation, stopped at a place surrounded by forests next to the huge lake, which is located about 70 km further south.

The coffin will be welcomed in Santiago by leftist President Gabriel Boric. After this the procession will proceed to the headquarters of the National Congress, where the remains of the former President will be buried.

“Probably this afternoon, at a time to be informed in due course, the doors of Congress will open so that those who wish to pay tribute to the President can do so,” said Alberto Van Klaveren, the minister of foreign affairs. A press conference.

Chile’s foreign minister said the funeral ceremonies would last until Friday, when the remains would be transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral so that “a mass can be held in the presence of those foreign leaders or presidents who wish to attend the funeral”.

At the moment, the names of the foreign leaders who will go to Chile to bid farewell to Pinera on Friday are unknown.

The 74-year-old former president had barely started piloting his helicopter – one of his greatest passions – after having lunch with friends and he was joined by his sister Magdalena Piñera, his friend and businessman Ignacio Guerrero and his son, Bautista. Guerrero when he met with the accident.

The prosecutor’s office is investigating the causes of the accident which occurred on a rainy day, with wind and considerable cloud cover. According to the account of a close friend who was at the scene, it is estimated that Piñera had been feeling ill shortly before the crash and was the only crew member not wearing his seat belt in the turbulent, deep-water lake. Couldn’t open.

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