Military dictator of Panama with close links to the White House who was overthrown by a US invasion

Manuel Noriega, who has died aged 83, was the strongman military officer who was the de facto ruler of Panama from 1983 to 1989. Throughout these years, he was closely involved with the CIA and the White House, allowing weapons to pass through Panama for use against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, and supplying information on Central American guerrilla movements. At the same time, he was linked to the Medellín drug cartel and the drug lord Pablo Escobar in Colombia, who used Panama as a staging post for trafficking to the US.

Related: Manuel Noriega – a life in pictures

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