Manuel Noriega



Manuel Noriega was born into a poor family but educated at one of the top schools in Panama. He was awarded a scholarship to military school in Lima, Peru and when he returned he was commissioned as a sublieutenant in the National Guard. He worked his way up through the ranks and eventually by the 1970's was considered to be the most feared man in panama. In 1983 he succeeded to the command of the National Guard and promoted himself to the rank of general. Charges were brought up against Noriega in the 1980's over events connected with the brutal murder of Hugo Spadafora. There was also evidence of laundering of drug money and the sale of restricted American technology and information which brought inevitable conflict with the United States government. In 1989 Noriega canceled the presidential elections and attempted to rule through a puppet government. The United States finally invaded Panama and Noriega sought refuge at the Vatican nunicature embassy in Panama City. After ten days, on January 3, 1990 he finally surrendered to the United States. In 1992 he was convicted of cocaine trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. He received a 40-year sentence, but his jail term was later reduced. He served 17 years and completed his sentence on September 9, 2007. He was then extradited to France where he sentenced to 7 years in prison. However in 2011, Noriega was extradited back to Panama to be convicted for the murders of political opponents. On December 11, 2011, Noriega returned to Panama, where he resides today, and began serving three 20-year prison sentences.
Noriega heads home to Panama

Video Analysis

Manuel Noriega is shown coming home to Panama at the age of 77 in the shaddow of his former self. He once was a dictator that eliminated politicatal oppionents by rigging elections and ordering assasinations. He acted as a double agent and was very corrupted and involved in drug dealing. George Bush ordered Manuel Noriega's arrest and the United States military entered Panama where Noriega eventually surrendered. He was convicted in the United States for drug trafficing and after serving his sentence, he was sent to France to be tried and convicted for changes of money laundering. After serving time in France he was eventually allowed to return home to Panama where he would spend more time in prision for the brutal murders he ordered on his political opponents.

July 8, 1985

David Chiriqui,

I write to you hoping that you are still in agreement to take out Hugo Spafora on September 13 of this year. His death is imperative if I am going to keep my position. As we have discussed I need help transporting goods in the near future. I think this would be a good opportunity for you if you took care of Hugo Spafora. I also need assistance changing money and this could be a chance for you and your family to get involved in my work. Your compliance is essential for my buisnesses to keep running smoothly. Please let me know if you need anything. Give my best to your family.

Manuel Noriega

Essential Question:

Through his consecutive prison sentences in the United States, France, and Panama, was Manuel Noriega ultimately punished enough for the crimes he commited, or did he diserve to be more harshly punished?