Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian dictator with the pockmarked face whose brutal six-year reign was ended by a U.S. invasion, has died.
Noriega, who in recent years had suffered from prostate cancer and survived several strokes, was the first foreign leader to be convicted of crimes in a U.S. court and served more than a dozen years in an American prison before he was finally allowed to return home to Panama.
11, 1934 in Panama City, Noriega was the son of an accountant who was abandoned by his dad at age five and raised by an aunt.
Educated at a Peruvian military college, Noriega caught the attention of the CIA early on and became a paid informant as he rose through the ranks of the Panama National Guard, which was charged with defending the strategic canal that cuts the country in two.
Two years later, Noriega was convicted in Miami on eight counts of drug smuggling and racketeering after a trial during which the extent of his involvement with the CIA was revealed.
Convicted back in 1999 of money laundering, Noriega was sent to France to do more time before he was extradited back to Panama and jailed for crimes committed while he was ruling the country, including the brutal murder of Spadafora.