Fate of former members of Noriega's government, political party and armed forces, including military officers. [PAN9501]

Various reports indicate that followers of Manuel Noriega, members of his government and the armed forces have faced a variety of fates. A general response that would be accurate for all cases cannot be made. However, the information that follows may be of interest to you.
Some of Noriega's associates were arrested, while others sought refuge in foreign embassies and abroad. Their deportation to face trial in Panama has, in some cases, been requested by the Panamanian government. News reports indicate that more than eighty people linked to Noriega, including members of his government and family, sought refuge in foreign embassies and eventually managed to leave Panama. Panama has requested that the Peruvian and Cuban governments extradite a former army major who sought refuge in the Peruvian embassy and later fled to Peru, and a former legislator who fled to Cuba who had been recently accused of killing opponents (Reuters 31 May 1991). The person who was President of Panama before the United States invasion of 1989 was recently ordered arrested in Panama on charges of embezzlement based on events dating back to 1984 (Reuters 15 May 1991).
A number of reports indicate that some members of the Panamanian Defence Forces became members of the reorganized police after the armed forces were disbanded. Nevertheless, a recent report states that "after the U.S. invasion of Panama 19 months ago, all of Noriega's military cronies were incarcerated, along with others who had collaborated with the Noriega regime" (Central America Report 6 Sept. 1991). The same source adds that none of those people had received a trial, adding that two of them (Colonel Marcos Justine Fern ndez and Rafael Cedeño) managed to be released by a judge who was subsequently fired (Ibid.). A copy of the cited article is attached to this response.
For information related to pro-Noriega politicians currently participating in Panamanian politics, please refer to the Response to Information Request No. PAN9500.

Central America Report [Guatemala]. 6 September 1991. "Panama: Executive Intervention in Judicial Decisions."

Reuters. 31 May 1991. "Panama Asks Cuba to Extradite Former Lawmaker." (NEXIS)

_____. 15 May 1991. "Panama Judge Orders Arrest of Ex-President Rodríguez." (NEXIS)


Central America Report [Guatemala]. 6 September 1991. "Panama: Executive Intervention in Judicial Decisions."