Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega dies aged 83

Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega dies aged 83
In this May 2, 1989 file photo, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega walks with supporters in the Chorrilo neighborhood, where he dedicated a new housing project, in Panama City.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has died at the age of 83, a source close to his family said.

There was no immediate information on the cause of his death, which happened late on Monday.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that "the death of Manuel A Noriega closes a chapter in our history".

The onetime US ally was ousted as Panama's dictator by an American invasion in 1989.

Noriega later served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States.

He spent the first two decades after his ousting in American and French jails and the final years of his life in a Panamanian prison for murder of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.

Noriega accused Washington of a "conspiracy" to keep him behind bars and tied his legal troubles to his refusal to co-operate with a US plan aimed at toppling Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s.

In recent years, Noriega had suffered various ailments, including high blood pressure and bronchitis.

In 2016, doctors detected the rapid growth of a benign brain tumour which had first been spotted four years earlier. In January this year, a court granted him house arrest to prepare for surgery on the tumour.

Noriega is survived by his wife, Felicidad, and daughters Lorena, Thays and Sandra.

AP

More in this Section

Ecuadorians return to streets ahead of talks to end protestsEcuadorians return to streets ahead of talks to end protests

Jacob Rees-Mogg appeals to Brexiteers to trust Boris Johnson as talks reach critical stageJacob Rees-Mogg appeals to Brexiteers to trust Boris Johnson as talks reach critical stage

78-year-old arrested in UK on suspicion of attempted murder after Suffolk shooting78-year-old arrested in UK on suspicion of attempted murder after Suffolk shooting

At least 23 dead and 100 injured after Typhoon Hagibis devastates JapanAt least 23 dead and 100 injured after Typhoon Hagibis devastates Japan


Lifestyle

As UK legend John Surman gets ready to play at Cork’s jazz fest, he tells Philip Watson about his well-travelled career and why he’s so angry about Brexit.Jazz legend John Surman on a well travelled career and why he's angry about Brexit

Dr Naomi Lavelle answers a weekly science question.Fish live in water all their lives but does that mean that they never get thirsty or do they even drink at all? To answer these questions we need to look at where the fish live.Appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty?

More From The Irish Examiner