Ex-Panama dictator Manuel Noriega dies
Panama’s former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, who died in Panama City late Monday, was physically diminished after decades of imprisonment for crimes committed during his 1983-1989 rule.
Noriega, 83, passed away in the Panama City public Santo Tomas hospital where he had been recovering from early March surgery to remove a brain tumor, and a subsequent operation to clean up cerebral bleeding.
The announcement of his death was made by government communications secretary Manuel Dominguez.
“Mr. Noriega died tonight (late Monday),” Dominguez told AFP.
Noriega had been serving prison time for murder and forced disappearances during his dictatorship, and was being held in a prison cell overlooking the Panama Canal.
The ex-strongman had been granted temporary release on January 28 to undergo the medical procedure. Following years of ill-health that included respiratory problems, prostate cancer and depression, Noriega’s family pleaded with the authorities for him to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest. But the government rejected their appeals, and said Noriega would return to prison once he recovered from the brain tumor surgery. /AFP
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