30 May 2017

Panama dictator Manuel Noriega dies aged 83

5:46 pm on 30 May 2017

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has died at the age of 83 following brain surgery this year, the country's president says.

These two file photos show Panamanian General Manuel Noriega taken on 04 October, 1989 in Panama (L) and 04 January, 1990 in Miami (R)

Manuel Noriega in October, 1989 in Panama, left, and January, 1990 in Miami Photo: AFP

Noriega, who ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, spied for the Central Intelligence Agency until the United States invaded and toppled his corrupt government, ending a criminal career that saw him working with drug traffickers like Pablo Escobar.

Noriega was initially sentenced in the United States in 1992 but was serving a sentence for murder in Panama when he died

Panama president Juan Carlos Varela confirmed the death on Twitter, saying a chapter of history had been closed.

He said Noriega's family deserved to be able to bury him in peace.

- Reuters