Skip to main content

Manuel Noriega Fast Facts

By CNN Library
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2209 GMT (0609 HKT)
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega speaks during a military ceremony in 20 May 1988.
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega speaks during a military ceremony in 20 May 1988.

(CNN) -- Here is a look at the life of Manuel Noriega, former dictator of Panama.

Personal:
Birth date: February 11, 1934

Birth place: Panama City, Panama

Birth name: Manuel Antonio Noriega Morena

Father: Ricaurte Noriega , accountant

Mother: Maria Feliz Morena

Marriage: Felicidad Sieiro (late 1960s-present)

Children: Sandra, Thays (daughter) and Lorena

Education: Military School of Chorrillos, Peru, Engineering, 1962

Other Facts:
Was on the CIA's payroll for intelligence work.

Abandoned by his parents at five, he was raised by his aunt, Mama Luisa.

While in U.S. custody, Noriega was afflicted with prostate cancer and suffered a stroke.

The first foreign head of state to be convicted in a U.S. court.

Timeline:
1968 - Lieutenant of the Panama National Guard.

1970-1983 - Promoted to lieutenant colonel and chief of military intelligence.

1971 - At the request of the U.S., travels to Cuba to help secure the release of the crews of two American freighters seized by Cuba.

1983-1989 - Takes command of the Panamanian Army.

1983-1990 - Military dictator of Panama.

August 1983 - Is promoted to general and commander of the National Guard.

June 12, 1986 - An expose of Noriega by Seymour Hersh appears in the New York Times, accusing him of murder, money laundering and drug trafficking.

February 4, 1989 - The U.S. indicts Noriega on charges of racketeering, laundering drug money and drug smuggling.

December 20, 1989 - The U.S. invades Panama and launches "Operation Just Cause" to oust Noriega.

January 3, 1990 - Surrenders after 10 days spent in the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City.

April 9, 1992 - Is convicted on eight counts of drug smuggling and racketeering.

July 10, 1992 - Is sentenced to 40 years in prison.

July 6, 1993-September 6, 1993 - Trial, in absentia, for the murder of Dr. Hugo Spadafora. Noriega is convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

March 1994 - Is convicted, in absentia, of the October 4, 1989, murder of Major Moises Giroldi. He later is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

March 4, 1999 - His U.S. sentence is reduced to 30 years.

1999 - Is convicted in absentia from a Paris court on charges that he had laundered $2.8 million in drug money by buying property in France.

August 24, 2007 - Judge William Hoeveler rules that Noriega can be extradited to France to serve a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering. Attorneys for Noriega argued that his status as a prisoner of war meant he should be sent back to Panama.

September 9, 2007 - Noriega's scheduled mandatory release date from prison. However, due to appeals of his extradition to France, Noriega is not released.

January 14, 2009 - The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in Noriega's bid to avoid extradition to France. The Court will later address whether his status as a Prisoner of War, under the rules of the Geneva Convention, means he must be repatriated to Panama.

April 2009 - The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denies Noriega's petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

January 25, 2010 - The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Noriega's appeal.

April 26, 2010 - Noriega is extradited to France after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signs an extradition order.

July 7, 2010 - Noriega is found guilty of money laundering in a French court and is sentenced to seven years in prison.

June 20, 2011 - The French foreign ministry announces that it has begun the process of extraditing Noriega to Panama, with the consent of the United States. He is wanted in Panama on charges he killed a political rival.

November 23, 2011 - A French appeals court approves Noriega's extradition to Panama to serve out his sentences for past crimes.

December 11, 2011 - Noriega is extradited to Panama from France.

February 5-9, 2012 - Noriega is hospitalized in Panama City for hypertension and a possible stroke.

May 9, 2012-May 29, 2012 - Noriega is hospitalized in Panama City for bronchitis.

July 15, 2014 - Files a lawsuit against the Activision Blizzard video game company for harming his reputation with the game, "Call of Duty: Black Ops II."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT