The News
The News
Friday 14 of May 2021

Ex-Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega Dies


In this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda García López, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City. Pictured right is Miss Colombia, María Mónica Urbina,photo: AP/Jim Ellis, File
In this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda García López, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City. Pictured right is Miss Colombia, María Mónica Urbina,photo: AP/Jim Ellis, File
Noriega died on May 29

Significant events in life of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega:

— Feb. 11, 1934: Born in Panama City. Grows up in low-income El Chorrillo neighborhood with adoptive parents.

—1957: Studies at military academy in Peru. Upon return, he joins Panama’s military, the National Guard, becoming chief of western province of Chiriquí.

—December 1969: Allows Gen. Omar Torrijos to land in Chiriquí from Mexico after military uprising against commander of National Guard.

—1970: Promoted to lieutenant colonel and takes over feared G-2, the military intelligence bureau. For a decade he collaborates closely with CIA.

—July 31, 1981: Torrijos dies in plane accident, and members of secret service temporarily take over National Guard.

—Aug. 12, 1983: Noriega assumes command of National Guard, which he will convert to Panama’s Defense Forces.

—May 17, 1984: Electoral court declares Noriega-backed Nicolás Ardito Barletta as winner of presidential election as opposition alleges fraud.

—Sept. 27, 1985: Barletta forced to resign and replaced by Eric Delvalle.

—June 1987: Mass protests erupt after a retired colonel reveals that members of the secret service and electoral court judges were behind fraud in the 1984 election.

—February 1988: Noriega charged in Miami and Tampa with ties to drug trafficking and money laundering.

—Feb. 25, 1988: Delvalle tries to remove Noriega as Defense Forces commander, but legislature removes Delvalle instead.

—March 1988: Coup attempt against Noriega fails.

—May 1989: Elections held and opposition accuses Noriega of interfering in vote, including stealing and destroying ballot boxes.

—Aug. 31, 1989: With Noriega’s backing, Francisco Rodríguez named provisional president after election annulled.

—Oct. 3, 1989: Troops loyal to Noriega put down revolt by other soldiers. Rebels later shot.

—Dec. 15, 1989: Noriega named head of government by National Assembly, which gives him special powers and declares Panama in state of war.

—Dec. 20, 1989: As U.S. troops invade to depose him, Noriega goes into hiding, finally surrendering on Jan. 3 after standoff at Vatican’s diplomatic mission. He’s taken to Florida to face drug charges.

—1992: After conviction, is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug trafficking, though sentence later reduced.

—April 27, 2010: Extradited by U.S. to France, where he is convicted of laundering money in France during 1980s and sentenced to seven years in prison.

—Dec. 11, 2011: Sent back to Panama and immediately imprisoned.

—Jan. 29, 2017: Allowed to switch to house arrest to prepare for surgery to remove benign brain tumor.

—March 7, 2017: Undergoes surgery for tumor, then suffers bleeding in brain that requires second operation hours later, leaving him in critical condition.

—May 29, 2017: Noriega dies at a hospital in Panama City of unspecified causes.