Noriega, Manuel Antonio

Noriega, Manuel Antonio

(mänwĕl` äntō`nyō nôryā`gə), 1938–2017, Panamanian general. Commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces from 1983, Noriega consolidated the strong-armed rule inherited from Gen. Omar Torrijos HerreraTorrijos Herrera, Omar
, 1929–81, military leader, dictator of Panama (1968–78). As a lieutenant colonel, he led, together with Col. Boris Martínez, the coup (1968) that ousted President Arnulfo Arias.
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, and became the de facto leader of Panama. A one-time operative for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, he was implicated in drug trafficking, the sale of U.S. secrets to Cuba, and other illegal activities. U.S. officials urged him to step down (Jan., 1988), but he refused. Following the murder of a U.S. marine on the streets of Panama City, President George H. W. BushBush, George Herbert Walker,
1924–, 41st President of the United States (1989–93), b. Milton, Mass., B.A., Yale Univ., 1948. Career in Business and Government
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 ordered troops to Panama (Dec., 1989). Noriega was captured and brought to the United States for trial. He was convicted (1992) on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and drug trafficking and served 17 years in prison. France moved to extradite Noriega after his sentence ended, but he remained in U.S. custody until 2010, unsuccessfully fighting extradition. Convicted in France of money laundering, he was extradited in 2011 to Panama, where he had been convicted in absentia of corruption and murder, to serve his sentences there.