Former Panama Strongman Manuel Noriega Dead at 83

Authorities in Panama have announced the death of former military ruler Manuel Noriega. He died in Panama City on Tuesday at the age of 83, after recently undergoing a brain tumor operation. President Juan Carlos Varela announced the news on Twitter. “The death of Manuel Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and their families deserve a burial in peace,” he said. Prior to his reign from 1983 to 1989, Noriega worked with the CIA as an intelligence source, despite being a known cocaine trafficker. American forces ousted him from power in 1989 and he was later convicted on drug-trafficking charges in the U.S. before being extradited back home in December 2011. At the time of his death, he was serving out a 20-year sentence for murdering opponents during his rule. During his time as military ruler, Noriega was accused of numerous human-rights abuses, including jailing and beating protesters, murdering political opponents, turning the country into a hub for drug trafficking, and cracking down on free speech.