#ThisDayInHistory: ON THIS DAY IN 1988, PRESIDENT OF PANAMA, MANUEL NORIEGA, WAS INDICTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING.
Written by Olaide Adewale on February 5, 2021
On this day in 1988, a Panamanian politician and military officer who was the de facto ruler of Panama from 1983 to 1989, Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno was indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.
In 1988, Noriega was indicted by federal grand juries in Miami and Tampa.
Following the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, he was captured and flown to the United States, where he was tried on the Miami indictment.
The trial, lasting from September 1991 to April 1992, ended with Noriega’s conviction on most of the charges.
He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and ultimately served 17 years after a reduction in his sentence and time off for good behavior.
Noriega’s U.S. prison sentence ended in September 2007.
In 2010, Noriega was extradited to France, where he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for money laundering.
In 2011 France extradited him to Panama, where he was incarcerated for crimes committed during his rule.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2017, Noriega suffered complications during surgery, and died two months later.
He was known for his complicated relationship with the U.S., being described as being its ally and nemesis at the same time.
He has been called one of the best-known dictators of his time, and compared to authoritarian rulers such as Muammar Gaddafi and Augusto Pinochet.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY IS A PRODUCTION OF Jay101.9fm