On This Day

Manuel Noriega

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega

Profession: Panamanian General and Dictator


Biography: Manuel Noriega came to prominence in the Panama National Guard under Omar Torrijos. When Torrijos died in a plane crash Noriega emerged as head of the National Guard, appointing himself General.

During his period Noriega began working with the US CIA providing them with intelligence. At the same time Noriega established himself as a major drug trafficker.

From 1983 Noriega effectively acted as Dictator, controlling the country. In 1989 he voided elections after it was clear his candidates had lost.

American retaliated by imposing sanctions and invaded the country in December 1989. Noriega evaded capture for days before being sent back to the US and convicted on drugs charges.

Noriega was also convicted in France of money laundering before being sent back to Panama to serve time for crimes committed during his rule.

Born: February 11, 1934
Birthplace: Panama City, Panama

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Rooster
Star Sign: Aquarius

Died: May 29, 2017 (aged 83)

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1983-08-12 General Manuel Noriega becomes commander of Panamanian army
  • 1988-02-04 Panamanian General Manuel Noriega indicted by US federal grand jury for drug trafficking and racketeering
  • 1989-05-07 Panamanian voters reject dictator Manuel Noriega's bid for presidency
  • 1989-05-10 General Manuel Noriega's Panama government nullifies country's elections, which the opposition had won by a 3-1 margin
  • 1989-10-03 Panamanian Defense Force attempted coup of Manuel Noriega fails
  • 1989-12-20 US troops invade Panama & oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him
  • 1989-12-24 Panama's dictator, Manual Noriega, seeks asylum at Vatican embassy
  • 1990-01-03 Panama's leader General Manuel Noriega surrenders to US authorities
  • 1990-01-25 Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is transferred to a Miami jail
  • 1990-11-16 Manuel Noriega claims US denied him a fair trial
  • 1991-01-18 US acknowledges CIA and US Army paid Manuel Noriega $320,000 over his career
  • 1991-01-25 Manuel Noriega is given access to assets frozen by US government
  • 1991-05-15 Defense releases docs claiming Noriega is "CIA's man in Panama"
  • 1991-08-07 Courts rules Manuel Noriega, may access some secret US documents
  • 1991-09-16 US trial of former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega begins
  • 1992-02-03 Defense opens calling Noriega "our ally in war on drugs"
  • 1992-03-20 Manuel Noriega's wife Felicidad arrested for stealing buttons from dresses
  • 1992-04-04 Jury deliberations begin in Noriega case
  • 1992-04-09 US Fed court finds Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega guilty of 8 out of 10 drug and racketeering charges

Biographies and Sources