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Manuel Noriega Panama

December 13, 2011 by staff 

Manuel Noriega Panama, Panamanian officials are preparing for the return of former dictator Manuel Noriega, who is scheduled to be extradited from France this weekend, Panama’s foreign minister told CNN en Espanol.

Noriega, 77, will arrive in Panama Sunday on a flight with the Spanish airline Iberia, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Authorities are preparing to step up security to guarantee Noriega’s safety in prison, Foreign Minister Roberto Henriquez said Wednesday.

“We have to be ready for all the possibilities in all aspects. Noriega inspires very big emotions, and Noriega’s life could very well be at risk in Panama,” Henriquez said.

Calls for protests against the former military dictator have already begun, Henriquez said.

“Noriega has some friends who still follow him. But also a large majority of the Panamanian people resent his behavior. They are already mobilizing in Panama,” he said.

France ordered Noriega’s extradition earlier this year, responding to a Panamanian government request for the former dictator’s return to face charges that he had a political rival killed.

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