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Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega (L) salutes troops at an undisclosed location in Panama, 1985 (reissued May 30, 2017). EPA/STF
Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega (L) salutes troops at an undisclosed location in Panama, 1985 (reissued May 30, 2017). EPA/STF

Panama's ex-dictator Noriega dies at 83

Noriega was serving a sentence for murder in Panama when he died.

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 The death of the dictator, in coma since March after undergoing brain surgery, was announced by the current president of Panama, Jose Carlos Varela.

“The death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and his relatives deserve to bury him in peace” he tweeted.

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Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989. According to The Guardian, he was a spy for the CIA before the United States invaded in 1989, ending his brutal regime connected to drug trafficking.

Under his regime, scores of his opponents were tortured and killed. He was known for brandishing a machete while making nationalist speecehes and living a lavish life, fuelled by drug money, as reported in The New York Times.

Noriega, ousted by US in 1989,  was serving a sentence for murder in Panama when he died.

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