Manuel Noriega

Dictator of Panama


Manuel Noriega was born on February 11, 1934. He became a politician and a soldier. Between the years of 1983 and 1989, he became a military dictator and killed many people. In 1989, America invaded, took him out of power, captured hime, and made him a prisoner of war. Before he got power, he studied at the Military School of Chorrillos in Lima, Peru. He also studied at the US Army's Fort Gulick and Fort Bragg. He joined the national Guard in 1967. He did pretty well and was promoted to lieutenant in 1968. He supported Torrijos and was promoted again to lieutenant Colonel and appointed to Military Intelligence. He also worked with the CIA from the late 1950's to the 1980's. He gained power by naming himself to full general and he gave the US rights to do things in Panama. He also allowed the first presidential elections in 16 years in 1984 so many people liked him. He started committing crimes like killing and torturing an opponent that claimed Noriega had connections to drug trafficking. He also prevented people from trying to investigate the deaths of people he killed. Aside from his opponent, there were many other people that were killed or went missing during his time in power. The US caught on so they decided to step in and take him out of power. He was convicted of many crimes including drug trafficking, corruption, and torturing and killing people. He stayed in prison until 2007 and was the prosecuted in France and Panama.
Tyrants and Dictators - Manuel Noriega (MILITARY HISTORY DOCUMENTARY)

Tyrants and Dictators - Manuel Noriega (MILITARY HISTORY DOCUMENTARY)

This video shows many things about Manuel Noriega's life and how he ruled the country of Panama. They talk about how he was very powerful and was able to control people and convince them to do what he said, even if it meant they had to commit crimes. He also was involved with lots of drug trafficking, which the US wanted to stop. He killed people that tried to oppose him and kicked people out of office if they started to turn on him. These things show how he was a very brutal leader. He was not all bad though, because at first, he did many good things, including allowing presidential elections. Once he went corrupt he became very bad and allowed for many things to happen, so the US had to step in, in order to prevent things from getting worse.

Journal Entry

Dear Journal,

It has been five years since Manuel Noriega took power and became the Dictator of my country. Things have been getting much worse because the country has become very corrupt and many crimes occur, but the government lets it slide because most of the time, they are involved in some way. Even the dictator himself is involved with crime, For instance he has been trafficking drugs to the US without their knowledge. He also has been having people killed because they start to see how much of a problem he is. It has become very scary here and I really hope someone will step in and stop him so that things do not continue to spiral, because if they do, Panama will not last.

Essential Question

Although Panama did not do completely terribly during the time when Manuel Noriega was in power, how badly did he hurt the country by becoming dictator and committing amny crimes?