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Panama's Ex-Dictator Manuel Noriega Dies Aged 83

© AP Photo / Esteban FelixPanama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega gestures while being carried in a wheelchair by a police officer inside El Renacer prison in the outskirts of Panama City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011
Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega gestures while being carried in a wheelchair by a police officer inside El Renacer prison in the outskirts of Panama City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 - Sputnik International
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Manuel Antonio Noriega, Panama's former dictator, has passed away aged 83.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Panama's former military dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega has died aged 83 following a recent brain operation, Manuel Dominguez, the spokesman of Panama's government, announced on Tuesday.

"Mr. Noriega died tonight," the press secretary was quoted as saying by el Periodico.

Noriega became the de facto leader of Panama in 1983, but was removed from this position after the US invasion of 1989. He was accused of drug-trafficking, money-laundering and racketeering by the US authorities and was taken into custody in 1990.

© AP Photo / Jim Ellis, FileIn this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda Garcia Lopez, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City
In this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda Garcia Lopez, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City - Sputnik International
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In this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda Garcia Lopez, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City
© AP Photo / John Hopper, FileIn 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
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 - Sputnik International
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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
© AFP 2022 / BOB SULLIVANA photo taken 04 October 1989 shows former Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega waving as he left his headquarters in Panama City following a failed coup against him
A photo taken 04 October 1989 shows former Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega waving as he left his headquarters in Panama City following a failed coup against him - Sputnik International
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A photo taken 04 October 1989 shows former Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega waving as he left his headquarters in Panama City following a failed coup against him
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In this July 5, 1986 file photo, Miss USA, Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama, Gilda Garcia Lopez, salute while flanking General Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City
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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
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A photo taken 04 October 1989 shows former Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega waving as he left his headquarters in Panama City following a failed coup against him

Earlier this year, Noriega was released from jail to prepare for a brain surgery. He had been hospitalized since March.

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