Pascale Bonnefoy reported from Santiago, Daniel Politi from Buenos Aires and Ernesto Londoño from Rio de Janeiro.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Latin America’s political right is on a decisive winning streak.
Sebastián Piñera and his wife, Cecilia Morel, celebrating his victory in the Chilean presidential election outside a hotel in Santiago. Credit Claudio Reyes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
In Brazil, the leftist Workers’ Party was ousted from power last year when President Dilma Rousseff was impeached.
Last month, President Mauricio Macri of Argentina led his center-right coalition to a sweeping victory in legislative elections that left the once-formidable Peronist party divided and adrift.
And then in Chile on Sunday night, the left’s last hope of hanging on to power in one of the region’s economic and diplomatic heavyweights slipped away as the billionaire Sebastián Piñera, running on a conservative platform, cruised to victory in the presidential election.
“Chile is saved!” Mr. Piñera supporters chanted on the streets of Santiago, the capital, on Sunday night, where one man savored the moment by holding up a bust of the dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The region’s political shift began as the end of a commodities boom a decade ago forced governments to slash spending and as corruption scandals tarred the images of leaders who rose to power by vowing to spread the wealth in a region of stark inequality.