Manuel Noriega
by Alex Abad

1) Profile of your leader

Born in 1934, Manuel Noriega quickly established himself as a political figure in Panama around the 1970s. Starting in 1983, Noriega was the military dictator of Panama for 7 years straight, until the United States came in and stopped him. While in power, Noriega quickly established himself as a fearful leader. His political opponents mysteriously "disappeared" after his rise in 1983. He also participated in drug trafficking, election fraud, money laundering, murder, and espionage against the United States. Despite his own personal "success", the US issued out an arrest for him in 1989, and he eventually surrendered on January 3rd, 1990. In 1992, he was convicted in US federal court of drug trafficking, laundering, and racketeering. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but later got that reduced and was released in 2007. Soon after his release, he faced charged from France and was put back in prison and still remains there today.

2)Audio/Visual/Artistic Element

The force of Manuel Noriega is shown throughout this documentary and how he manipulated the people in Panama. Noriega used fear as a way to rise to the top and take control. He illegally took out political threats in his way. This long, but detailed, video describes Noriegas rise to power in Panama.

3) Creative Piece

Noriega Poem: By Alex Abad

Manuel Noriega was born in 1934,

And he put Panama in a state of war.

All day and night he worked to get to the top,

And did lots of illegals things and would not stop.

Murdering his threats was his thought,

He saw a chance, and took a shot.

Although Noriega ruled for many years,

The U.S. came in and said no more need to fear.

He won at first, but now he failed,

Manuel Noriega is now in jail.

4) Essential Question

What factors allowed Manuel Noriega to successfully rise to power and stay atop for over 7 years?