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.
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