Former dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, has died. He was 83.
A source close to the family of Noriega has confirmed the news of the former dictator’s death. No immediate information on the cause of death, however. Panamanian President has also on his own confirmed the death of Noriega with a Twitter post. He said: “the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history. “
Noriega was at one time a U.S. ally during his reign from 1983 to 1989 but he was also ousted as Panama’s dictator through an American invasion in 1989. He eventually served a 17-year drug sentence in the U.S.
Noriega spent twenty years following his ouster in American and French jails. The final years of his life were spent in a Panamanian prison for the murder of his political opponents during his dictatorship.
The former dictators also once accused Washington of a “conspiracy” to keep him imprisoned and also linked his legal troubles supposedly to his refusal to cooperate with a U.S. plan aimed at toppling Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s.
Noriega has suffered various ailments, including high blood pressure and bronchitis in the past years.
Doctors detected the rapid growth of a benign brain tumor in Noriega in 2016. It was first spotted four years earlier. In January this year, a court has granted Noriega house arrest to prepare surgery on the tumor.
Noriega left behind his wife, Felicidad, and daughters, Lorena, Thays, and Sandra.