Panama launches investigation into 1989 US invasion

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(BBC) The government in Panama has launched an investigation into the US invasion in 1989 that overthrew military strongman General Manuel Noriega.

The commission is expected to determine how many people died during the operation, and to identify them.

It will also assess whether relatives of the victims deserve compensation.

Officially 514 Panamanian soldiers and civilians were killed but some local groups say the real number is closer to 1,000. Twenty-three US military personnel died.

General Manuel Noriega speaking in Panama City in 1988 (20/04/1988)

Manuel Noriega, who is now 83 years old, is currently serving a prison sentence in Panama (AFP) 

“Panama is seeking to heal its wounds,” said the country’s vice president and foreign minister, Isabel de Saint Malo.

“There can be no reconciliation if the truth is not known,” she added.

The 83-year-old Manuel Noriega is now in prison in Panama, for ordering the disappearance of dissidents during his 1983-1989 rule.

He has already served sentences in the US and France.

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