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Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega Dies At 83

Manuel Noriega, who ruled Panama as a military dictator from 1983 until he was ousted by U.S. troops in 1989, has died, the government of Panama announced early Tuesday. He was 83. Noriega was in poor health, and after undergoing brain surgery in March, suffered a brain hemorrhage and was placed in a medically-induced coma. Born in Panama City on Feb. 11, 1934, Noriega was a career soldier. Beginning in the late 1950s up until the 1980s, Noriega worked with the CIA, while at the same time trafficking cocaine. Noriega was indicted by the United States in early 1989 on racketeering, laundering drug money, and drug smuggling charges, and in 1990, after spending 10 days in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission, surrendered. He was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1992, and was convicted in absentia of murder and laundering $2.8 million in drug money by purchasing property in France. Noriega was extradited back to Panama in 2011.

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