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Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega dies

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has died aged 83.
Noriega who was Panama’s military leader from 1983 to 1989 when he was ousted by an American invasion, passed away on Monday (29May17), the country’s current president Juan Carlos Varela confirmed.
Varela wrote on Twitter, “The death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history. His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace.”
In March (17) he was admitted to the intensive care unit of Santo Tomas hospital in Panama City after suffering a brain haemorrhage during surgery to remove a benign tumour.
Noriega was initially backed by the U.S. security services as a valued source of intelligence, but in 1988 he was indicted by American authorities for his involvement in international drug trafficking as a key player in Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin Cartel.
He was tried and convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering in Miami, Florida in 1992.
Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison, later reduced to a 30 and then a 17 year sentence. He was released for good behaviour in 2007.
In 2010 he was extradited to France to face money laundering chargers, he was convicted later that year and sentenced to a further seven years in jail.
The next year (11) French authorities allowed his extradition to Panama where he was incarcerated for crimes and human rights violations committed by his regime.
He remained in prison until January (17) when he was released and placed under house arrest to prepare for the surgery to remove the tumour.
Noriega is survived by his wife, Felicidad Sieiro de Noriega, and their three adult daughters.

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