- (April 1998)
Panama after Noriega.
Does anybody remember when, in 1989, George Bush (former head of the CIA)
invade and apprehend General Noriega and "free" Panama from his dictatorship?
Of course, many knew that Noriega had become dictator of Panama with the help
of the CIA and a few speculated that maybe Noriega was being eliminated because
it was dangerous to leave him free, not because of humanitarian concerns for
the Panamian people. Noriega was eventually sent to prison for drug-related
charges and elections were held in Panama. Life is back to normal? Yes, in
a way... because Panama is again one of the most important centers for the
distribution of drugs. By admission of the DEA itself, the traffic of drugs
in Panama has increased three times since 1991. Recently, Panama has tried
anything short of murder to silence Gustavo Gorriti, a journalist who
reported for years about drug corruption by top officials of the country and
their links to U.S. intelligence.
To refresh your memory, the independent country of Panama was created in 1903
when the Americans stole it from Colombia. It was always run by America-friendly
dictators until Omar Torrijos' coupe. Torrijos was the first Panamian leader
to challenge the U.S. rule. One day Torrijos was blown up with his helicopter,
and his place was taken by a colonel with strong ties to the C.I.A.: