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Pioneer Chilean newsman Patricio Bañados dies at 87

Patricio Bañados, a pioneer Chilean journalist, died on May 7. He was 87. The death was confirmed by his family.

Patricio Bañados, a Chilean TV/radio presenter, died at the age of 87 on May 7. His family confirmed the death but did not state the cause, citing his privacy. ​​Bañados had been a TV presenter and was the face of the “NO” plebiscite campaign in 1988, which voted to end Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Bañados was a trailblazer in the Chilean TV news industry. He presented news for Chile’s first TV magazines and took part in the broadcasting of the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

Other highlights from his career include the first transmission of a full Congress, the first transmission from abroad, and the first transmission of a military parade.

Read more: 

Longread: The “No” Plebiscite That Finished Pinochet

Bañados had also worked for international news publications such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, the United States Information Agency, International Swiss Radio, and Spanish TV.

He will be remembered for an episode that, according to his own words, led to his removal from the news for “Channel 11” for refusing to present a false piece of news, when it was just a few days before the constitutional plebiscite in 1980 during the Pinochet dictatorship.

Bañados was the TV presenter for programs such as En Tabla, OVNI, and El Mirador. He worked for years at the National TV channel of Chile, until he was let go in 2005. He had stayed away from the screen since then.

Besides his television career, Bañados was also an established radio personality. He was the voice of Radio Beethoven, where he worked from 1986 to its closure and upon its reopening, La Tercera reported.

Addressing his career and experience, Bañados published the books “Reflection of an illusion” in 2003 and “Secrets of a presenter” in 2013.

News of Bañados’s death was met with an outpouring of condolences. Even President Gabriel Boric took to Twitter to remember him.

“Patricio Bañados left us yesterday. The calm and hope of his voice in dark moments will always accompany us. Thank you for your courage, brilliance, and professionalism, which will be missed in daily debates. A big hug to the family,” Boric tweeted.

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