History Files
 

 

The Americas

Central American Colonial Settlements

 

 

 

Castillo del Oro / Panama
AD 1508 - 1821

Panama carries the claim of being the first part of the mainland Americas to be colonised, in 1502, albeit with a short-lived garrison of eighty men. The region was reoccupied on a permanent basis in 1519 when Panama City was founded. It was initially administered as part of Peru, but in 1717 the province became part of the viceroyalty of New Granada. Shortly before that, the site of the original colony was the location for the ill-fated 'Darien Venture' Scottish colony.

To the south of New Spain, Panama City was founded on 15 August 1519 by the Spanish governor of Castillo del Oro, the colony's name until 1529, when Panama was used instead. The earliest explorers encountered a native ruler near the Bay of San Miguel in 1522 called Biru. They initially used this name for all of their subsequent conquests to the south - Peru.

1501

The area that later forms the location for Panama City is first discovered by Rodrigo de Bastidas in March.

1502

Following his reprieve by the Castilian king, and surviving storms which drown the governor of Hispaniola and sink the first Spanish treasure fleet to leave the Americas, Christopher Columbus arrives on the coast of Panama on his fourth voyage at the very end of the year. A garrison is established at the mouth of the Rio Belen (Belen meaning Bethlehem), and is named Santa Maria de Belen, the first Spanish settlement on the mainland of the Americas. Columbus places his brother in charge.

1503

Bartolome Columbus

First Castilian governor of Santa Maria de Belen.

1503

Columbus leaves the garrison, only to become stranded on Jamaica for a year. Taking advantage of his absence and that of his ships, the native tribes attack the small outpost and its eighty-man garrison. They are forced to retreat to the shore where they are eventually rescued, but the outpost is permanently abandoned.

1508 - 1511

Diego de Nicuesa

First Castilian governor of Darien.

1510

From Hispaniola, Vasco Nunez de Balboa founds the first successful settlement on the mainland. Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien is founded on the coast (modern Darien, between Panama and Colombia).

1511 - 1513

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

1513

Vasco Nunez de Balboa and Francisco Pizarro (later governor of Peru) cross the Isthmus of Panama, leading the first European expedition to see the Pacific from the west coast of the New World. Once there, Balboa claims the Pacific Ocean and all the lands adjoining it for Castile.

1514

Pedrarias Davila arrives from Castile along with Hernando de Soto, explorer and governor of Cuba from 1538.

1514 - 1520

Pedrarias Davila

First Castilian / Spanish governor of Castillo del Oro.

1519 - 1521

Panama City is founded on the American mainland by the Spanish governor shortly after he takes control after leaving Hispaniola. This is the first permanent settlement in the region since the destruction of Santa Maria de Belen, but Darien is abandoned as a result, and is subsequently sacked and burned by native peoples.

Spanish conquistador and native slaves
The Spanish conquest of the Americas delivered vast resources in labour and slaves

1520

Lope de Sosa

1520 - 1526

Pedrarias Davila

Second term of office.

1524 - 1533

Four expeditions are undertaken by Francisco Pizarro to conquer Peru from Panama City. He eventually defeats the native Inca peoples and gains himself the titles of governor and captain general of New Castile. Meanwhile, Pedrarias Davila sends Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba to conquer the province which forms modern Nicaragua.

1526 - 1529

Pedro de los Rios y Gutierrez de Aguayo

Removed after mishandling his post.

1529 - 1532

Antonio de la Gama

First Spanish governor of Panama. Also governor of Puerto Rico.

1533 - 1536

Francisco Barrionuevo

1536

Pascual de Andagoya

1536 - 1539

Pedro Vázquez de Acuña

1539 - 1543

The Real Audiencia governs Panama until a new governor can be appointed.

1543 - 1545

Pedro Ramírez de Quiñones

1545

Pedro Casaos

1545

Diego de Herrera

1545 - 1546

Hernando de Bichacao

1546

Pedro de Rivero

1546

Pedro Antonio de Hinojosa

1546

Pedro de la Gasca

1546 - 1548

Alonso de Álvarez

1548

Pedro Ramírez de Quiñones

1549 - 1550

Juan Barba de Vallecillo

1550 - 1553

Sancho de Clavijo

1553 - 1556

Álvaro de Sosa

1557 - 1559

Juan Ruiz de Monjarás

1559 - 1561

Rafael de Figueroa

1561 - 1563

Luis de Guzmán

1563

Juan Busto de Villegas

Did not take up office.

1563 - 1564

Lope García de Castro

1565 - 1566

Manuel Barros de San Millán

1566

Alonso Arias de Herrera y Maldonado

1566

Juan de Pinedo

1567 - 1569

Manuel Barros de San Millán

1569 - 1573

Diego Lope de Vera

1573 - 1578

Gabriel Loarte

1578

Juan López de Cepeda

Interim governor.

1578 - 1585

Pedro Ramírez de Quiñones

1585 - 1587

Juan del Barrio Sepúlveda

1587 - 1596

Francisco de Cárdenas

1596

Juan del Barrio Sepúlveda

Interim governor.

1596 - 1602

Alonso de Sotomayor y Valmediano

1602 - 1604

Hernando de Añazco

1605 - 1614

Francisco Valverde de Mercado

1614 - 1616

Francisco Manso de Contreras

1616 - 1619

Diego Fernández de Velasco

1619 - 1621

Juan de la Cruz Rivadeneira

Died 1621.

1621

Roque Chávez

1621 - 1627

Rodrigo Vivero y Velasco

1627

Juan de Colmenares Andrade

Did not take up office.

1627

Francisco Brienda y Cárdenas

Declined the office.

1627 - 1632

Álvaro de Quiñones Osorio y Miranda

1632 - 1634

Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera y Gaviría

1634 - 1638

Enrique Enríquez de Sotomayor

1638

Andrés Garabito de León

Interim governor.

1638 - 1642

Iñigo de la Motta Sarmiento

1643 - 1646

Juan de la Vega y Bazán

1646 - 1649

Juan Fernández de Córdoba y Coalla

1649 - 1650

Juan Barba Vallecillo

1650 - 1651

Juan de Bitrián Navarra y Biamonte

Interim governor.

1651

Diego de Orozco

Interim governor.

1651 - 1652

Francisco de Guzmán de Toledo

Interim governor.

1651

Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera y Gaviría

Declined the office.

1651

Francisco Herrera y Henríquez

Declined the office.

1652 - 1657

Pedro Carrilla de Guzmán

1658 - 1663

Fernando Ibáñez de la Riva-Agüero

1663 - 1665

Pablo Figueroa

1665 - 1667

Juan Pérez de Guzmán y Gonzaga

1667 - 1669

Agustín de Bracamonte

1669

Diego de Ibarra

Interim governor.

1669 - 1671

Juan Pérez de Guzmán y Gonzaga

1670

The English privateer Henry Morgan takes the Peruvian port of Chagres, before capturing and sacking Panama City. The city is subsequently destroyed by fire. Several complaints are made to the Spanish crown against Villalba's administration and he is replaced by Melchor Linan y Cisneros, and later charged with robbing the dead.

1671

Diego de Ibarra

Interim governor who declined the office.

1671

The Real Audiencia governs Panama until a new governor can be appointed.

1671

Luis Losada Quinoñes

Magistrate.

1671

Andres Martínez de Amileta

Magistrate.

1671

Francisco Miguel de Marichalar

1671 - 1673

Antonio Fernández de Córdoba y Mendoza

1673

Panama City is rebuilt eight kilometres (five miles) to the south-west of the old city, and eventually grows up to surround the ruins (which remain a tourist attraction today).

Panama City Cathedral
Construction on the cathedral in Panama City was begun in 1673

1673 - 1675

Antonio de León

Bishop of Panama.

1675 - 1676

Francisco Miguel de Marichalar

1676 - 1681

Alonso Mercado de Villacorta

1681 - 1682

Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita

Bishop of Panama.

1682

José Alzamora

1682 - 1690

Pedro Ponte de Llorena Hoyo y Calderón

1690 - 1695

Pedro José de Guzmán Dávalos

1695 - 1696

Diego Ladrón de Guevara Orozco

Bishop of Panama.

1696 - 1699

Pedro Luis Henríquez de Guzmán

Governor during the initial stage of the Darien Venture colony.

1698

Scottish settlers make landfall in Panama, establishing the ill-fated 'Darien Venture' colony. The disaster that it becomes barely makes any kind of impression on Spanish Panama.

1699

José Antonio de la Rocha y Carranza

Governor during the later stages of the Darien Venture colony.

1699 - 1702

Pedro Luis Henríquez de Guzmán

Governor during the later stages of the Darien Venture colony.

1702 - 1706

Fernando D'Avila Bravo de Laguna

1706

José Eustaquio Vicentelo Toledo y Luca

1706 - 1708

José Antonio de la Rocha y Carranza

1708 - 1709

Fernando Haro de Monterroso

1709 - 1710

Juan Bautista de Ureta e Irusta

1710 - 1711

Juan de la Rañeta y Vera

1711

José Antonio de la Rocha y Carranza

1711 - 1718

José Hurtado de Amézaga

1717

Along with a vast swathe of the northern territories of Peru, the province becomes part of the viceroyalty of New Granada.

1718

Juan José Llamas y Rivas

Bishop of Panama.

1718 - 1723

Jerónimo Vadillo

1723 - 1724

Gaspar Pérez Buelta

1724

José Alzamora y Ursino

Interim governor.

1724 - 1730

Manuel de Alderete

1730 - 1735

Juan José Andía Vivero y Velásco

1735 - 1743

Dionisio Martínez de la Vega

1743 - 1749

Dionisio de Alcedo Ugarte y Herrera

1749 - 1758

Manuel de Montiano y Luyando

1758 - 1761

Antonio de Guill y Gonzaga

1762

José Roan

Interim governor.

1762 - 1764

José de Arana y Górnica

Interim governor.

1764 - 1767

José Blasco de Orozco

1767

Joaquín Cabrejo

Interim governor.

1767 - 1768

Manuel de Agreda

Interim governor.

1768 - 1769

Nicolás de Castro

1769 - 1772

Vicente de Olaciregui

1772

Nicolás de Castro

Interim governor.

1773 - 1774

Nicolás Quijano

1774

Francisco Navas

Interim governor.

1774 - 1779

Pedro Carbonell Pinto Vigo y Correa

1779 - 1785

Ramón de Carvajal

1785 - 1793

Jose Tomas y Valle

Became captain-general of Guatemala.

1793 - 1803

Antonio Narváea y la Torre

1803 - 1805

Jaun de Marcos Urbina

Died 1805.

1805 - 1812

Juan Antonio de la Mata

Died 1812.

1810

Freed of Spanish colonial control, the viceroyalty of New Granada becomes the United Provinces of New Granada. The governor is forced to take refuge at Portobelo in Panama.

Old Panama
The ruins of Old Panama are now surrounded by the modern city

1812 - 1813

Víctor Salcedo y Somodevilla

1813 - 1815

Carlos Meyner

1815 - 1816

Francisco de Ayala Gudiño Medina

Interim governor.

1816

José Alvarez

Interim governor.

1815 - 1816

The United Provinces of New Granada is re-conquered by Spain and the viceroyalty is re-established.

1816 - 1817

Juan Domingo de Iturraldo

Interim governor.

1817 - 1820

Alejandro de Hore

Died 1820.

1820

Francisco Aguilar

Interim governor.

1820 - 1821

Pedro Ruíz de Porras

Died 1821.

1821

Tomás Cires

Acting governor.

1821

Juan de la Cruz Mourgeón y Achet

1821

José de Fábrega

Interim governor.

1821

The republic of Gran Colombia is formed after the fall of the Spanish administration of the colonies. Immediately the new administration of Panama, under Colonel Jose del Fabrega, opts to join the republic.

Governors of Panama
AD 1822 - 1903

The republic of Gran Colombia was formed on 28 November 1821 after the fall of the Spanish administration of the colonies. Immediately the new administration of Panama, under Colonel Jose del Fabrega, opted to join the republic after elements in the province made it clear that they wanted nothing more to do with the colonial administration. A military governor oversaw the changes and the first republican governor.

1822 - 1826

José María Carreño

Military governor.

1820 - 1824

Fighting a nationalist war of independence in Peru, the Spanish vice-regents are defeated and agree to leave Peruvian territories. In 1822 the Mexican empire is formed on Panama's northern border.

1822 - 1826

Juan José Argote

Governor.

1823

Carlos Icaza Arosemena

Acting governor.

1826

Manuel Muñoz

Acting governor.

1826 - 1827

José de Fábrega

Former acting governor.

1827

José Domingo Espinar

1827 - 1828

Manuel Muñoz

Second term of office as acting governor.

1828 - 1829

José Sardá

1829 - 1830

José de Fábrega

Second term of office.

1830

José Domingo Espinar

Second term of office.

1830

The Gran Colombian state disintegrates, but Panama remains within the republic of New Granada.

1830 - 1831

Juan Eligio Alzuru

1831

In July, General Juan Eligio Alzuru proclaims the independence of Panama from Gran Colombia, but under Colonel Tomas Herrera, Gran Colombia's military forces defeat and execute Alzuru and forcibly reincorporate Panama. Herrera himself serves as Panama's governor in 1831.

Map of Central America in the 1830s
The Federal Republic of Central America was formed of Chiapas, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This lasted from 1823-1841, by which time Mexico had grabbed much of Chiapas and the republic itself dissolved into the separate nation states known today - although Nicaragua did not control the independent Mosquito Coast until the end of the century, and British troops occupied eastern Belize (click on map to view full sized)

1831

Justo Paredes

Superior chief.

1831 - 1832

Tomás de Herrera

New Granada's military governor. Returned in 1840.

1832

Pedro Jiménez

1832 - 1833

Juan José Argote

Second term of office.

1833 - 1834

Juan B Feraud

1834 - 1836

Manuel José Hurtado

1836 - 1840

Pedro de Obarrio

1840

Carlos Icaza Arosemena

Second term of office.

1840 - 1842

Tomás de Herrera

Former military governor. Returns in 1845.

1840 - 1841

Panama again declares its independence under the leadership of General Tomas Herrera (the anti-hero of 1831), becoming the Free State of the Isthmus. The end of the civil conflict which allows this breakaway in 1841 also allows the peaceful reincorporation of the isthmus into New Granada.

1842

Miguel Chiari

1842

J Victoria y Echavarría

1843 - 1845

Anselmo Pineda

1845

José de Obaldía y Orejuela

1845 - 1846

Tomás de Herrera

Third term of office. Returns in 1849.

1846

Manuel Quesada

1846

José María Barriga

1846

The signing of the Bidlack Mallarino Treaty between New Granada and the USA ensures that Panama will remain within the republic, with both parties joining together to put down liberalist attempts to create an independent state, and with the USA gaining rights to build railways and roads through the isthmus in return.

1849

Manuel María Díaz

Acting governor.

1849

Tomás de Herrera

Fourth term of office. Returns in 1851.

1850 - 1851

José de Obaldía y Orejuela

Second term of office.

1851

Manuel María Díaz

Second term of office as acting governor.

1851

Tomás de Herrera

Fifth term of office. Returns in 1852.

1851

Juan Antonio Bermúdez

1851

Carlos Icaza Arosemena

Third term of office.

1852

Tomás de Herrera

Sixth and final term of office.

1852

Antonio Planas

1852

Bernardo Arze De Mata

1852 - 1853

Salvador Camacho Roldán

1853

Bernardo Arze De Mata

Acting governor in his second term of office.

1854

José María Urrutia Añio

1854 - 1855

Juan Echavarría

1855

Isidro de Diego

1855

Damián José Pacheco

1855

Bernardo Arze De Mata

Third term of office.

1855

Manuel María Díaz

Third term of office as acting governor.

1855

Justo Arosemena Quesada

Governor after acting as provisional head of state.

1855 - 1856

Francisco de Fábrega

Acting governor.

1856 - 1858

Bartolomé Calvo y Díaz de Lamadrid

1858

Ramón Gamboa

Acting governor.

1858

Rafael Núñez

Acting governor.

1858 - 1860

José de Obaldía y Orejuela

Third term of office.

1860 - 1862

Santiago de la Guardia y Arrue

1862

Manuel María Díaz

Provisional governor in his fourth term of office.

1862 - 1886

Presidents replace governors for much of the period in which the provinces of Colombia are organised as sovereign states within New Granada itself.

1886 - 1887

Alejandro Posada

1887 - 1888

Juan V Aycardi

1888

Alejandro Posada

Second term of office.

1888 - 1893

Juan V Aycardi

Second term of office.

1893 - 1898

Ricardo Arango

1898 - 1899

Facundo Mutis Durán

1899 - 1902

The Thousand Days War ignites between Colombia's Liberal and Conservative political parties (which naturally includes Panama as part of its territory), when the latter are accused of retaining power through rigged elections. The Liberals are defeated, but the Conservatives also lose their appetite for the conflict, and peace is regained with the signing of a treaty in 1902.

1899 - 1900

José María Campo Serrano

1899 - 1900

Alejandro Orillac

Acting governor.

1900 - 1902

Carlos Albán

1902

Aristides Arjona

1902 - 1903

Víctor Manuel Salazar

Accidentally became governor.

1903

José Domingo de Obaldía

1902 - 1903

To achieve its own ends, the USA supports Panamanian demands for independence from Colombia and in 1903, the isthmus separates and becomes the republic of Panama.

Modern Panama
AD 1903 - Present Day

Located in Central America, the republic of Panama is the most southerly country in the Central American region. It borders Costa Rica to the north, and Colombia to the south, with a clear line across the Caribbean to Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to its west. Its capital is Panama City, which was founded on 15 August 1519 by the first Spanish governor of Panama. Its population in 2011 was about 3.6 million.

The province of Panama was incorporated into New Granada in 1717. This became the United Provinces of New Granada in 1810 following various wars of independence which broke out across the Spanish Americas. Peru served as a centre for the royalist opposition to these revolts. The viceroy, Abascal, reincorporated the provinces of Chile, Cordoba, La Paz and Potosi (both in modern Bolivia), and Quito (part of New Granada). Spanish governors remained in nominal command of Granada, but in opposition to the United Provinces, and 'governing' from Panama. Panama subsequently went through a bewildering array of changes until the final break-up of former Spanish imperial territories. Panama remained part of Columbia, although it twice tried to achieve independence, in 1831 and 1840-1841.

In 1902, the USA, which had helped Colombia to suppress any uprisings in Panama between 1846-1902, decided to take control of and complete the abandoned French work on the Panama Canal. The Colombian government was naturally reluctant to allow that level of control to fall outside its hands and refused permission. The US decided to support Panamanian demands for independence and in 1903, the isthmus separated and the republic of Panama was born, with a small US military force preventing Colombia from sending troops by sea to regain their province.

(Additional information from Revisiting the National Socialist Legacy, Oliver Rathkolb (Ed), and from External Links: The Washington Times, and BBC Country Profiles.)

1903 - 1904

Encouraged by the USA, Panamanian independence from Colombia has been demanded and granted. Now the US is free to start work on the abandoned French Panama Canal project, work that had previously been blocked by Columbia. A huge force of migrant workers from many different countries is brought to Panama to work on the canal and many of them die of diseases such as yellow fever. Workers include West Indians, Indians and Chinese. The USA signs a treaty with Panama that gives the former country sovereign rights over the canal.

Panama Canal
Building the canal was an immense project for its time, but the USA's need for it was vital as it would allow them coast-to-coast access on either side of their country without having to sail all the way around the southern tip of South America

1914

The Panama Canal is opened for business by its US builders and owners, despite it having been signed over to them by a French citizen in Panama in 1903 who had no authorisation to do so. Journey time through the canal by passenger-carrying vessels is approximately eight hours, and its existence makes Panama a name that is known around the world. The official opening by President Woodrow Wilson takes place on 12 July 1920.

1917 - 1918

In December 1917, Panama declares for the allies in the First World War against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, but takes no active role in the conflict.

1931

Arnulfo Arias, leader of the nationalist Patriotic Communal Action organisation, leads a coup which deposes the country's liberal president, Florencio Harmodio Arosemena. The next year he helps his brother, Harmodio, to become president. Arias' main aim is to weaken US influence on Panama and organise the country on lines that are closer to those of Nazi Germany.

1940 - 1945

Now that Panama is no longer a US protectorate (from 1939), Arnulfo Arias becomes president. Unfortunately for him, he displays such strong pro-fascist sympathies that the USA supports a coup that deposes him in 1941. Shortly afterwards, Panama joins the Second World War as an ally of the USA and Great Britain on 7 December 1941, against Japan, Germany and Italy.

1948 - 1951

Again standing for election in 1948, Arnulfo Arias is defeated. However, in the following year the National Assembly declares him to be the winner. He suspends the constitution and rules by secret police force. This time his regime lasts until he is again overthrown in 1951.

1964

The issue of US ownership of the Panama Canal has long been contentious, but on 9 January it reaches boiling point on what becomes known as Martyr's Day. The riots start after a Panamanian flag is ripped during a dispute between the Canal Zone Police and Panamanian students about flying the flag alongside the American stars and stripes. Three days of fighting follow, with the US military becoming involved in regaining control of the canal.

Martyr's Day
In three days of violence a total of twenty-eight people died, including a six-month-old girl who suffered breathing problems when her neighbourhood was CS-gassed by intervening US forces

1968

With US support, a coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Omar Torrijos and Major Boris Martinez topples the government of the recently elected president - Arnulfo Arias in another attempt to secure power - and controls the country as a military dictatorship. This ends the constitutional democracy that has existed in the country since 1903, ironically at the hands of one of the most vocal supporters of democracy. A power struggle between the coup's leaders results in Martinez being exiled in 1969 while Torrijos becomes Panama's dictator.

1968 - 1981

Omar Torrijos

Military dictator. Died in an airplane accident.

1977 - 1978

The US and Panama agree the Torrijos-Carter Treaties which will eventually return ownership of the Panama Canal to Panama itself. The following year Torrijos steps down as the head of the government but retains power behind a puppet president. Under pressure from the US to do so, he plans to return the country to democratic rule for 1984, but his death halts those plans and Panama's presidents are controlled by a series of military rulers.

1981 - 1982

Florencio Flores Aguilar

Military dictator. Enforced retirement in 1982.

1982

A military coup against Aguilar by Colonel Ruben Dario Paredes forces the county's second dictator to retire from office, leaving the way open for Paredes to become its third dictator.

1982 - 1983

Ruben Dario Paredes

Military dictator. Abdicated.

1983

Paredes retires as part of an agreement with the chief of staff, Manuel Noriega, which will allow him to become the next 'president'. Noriega fails to fulfil the agreement when he becomes the country's military leader. Instead he profits from his position by drug trafficking, laundering money, and engaging in organised crime. The National Guard is reorganised into the Panama Defence Forces, and is greatly increased in terms of men and arms.

1983 - 1989

Manuel Noriega

Military dictator. Deposed by US invasion.

1984

Standing in yet another election, Arnulfo Arias, with the prospect of a landslide majority in his favour, is blatantly robbed of his win by Manuel Noriega, who pronounces that his own puppet candidate has won with a slim majority.

1988 - 1990

Shortly after Manuel Noriega is indicted in the USA for drug trafficking (in 1988), American troops invade Panama on 20 December 1989 and remove him from office. He takes refuge in the Vatican diplomatic mission in Panama City. The US place intense diplomatic pressure on the Vatican mission and blast the building day and night with extremely loud rock-and-roll music, just to make sure. Noriega finally surrenders on 3 January 1990. He is detained as a prisoner of war and is tried for his various offences.

US invasion of Panama
In 1989 the US invaded the country it had helped to create in 1903, in order to depose a dictator which it had supported and who had worked closely with its CIA since 1950

1991

Parliament approves constitutional reforms, including the abolition of the standing army. Privatisation begins to remove assets from state control.

1999

Mireya Moscoso, the widow of Arnulfo Arias, becomes Panama's first woman president. This is despite (and perhaps because of) a campaign to discredit her by the opposition based upon her late husband's unproven collaboration with fascism. On the very last day of the same year, as part of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the US hands full control of the Panama Canal to Panama.

2004

In May, Martin Torrijos, the son of former dictator Omar Torrijos, wins the presidential elections. As one of her last actions in the post, in August-September President Moscoso pardons four Cuban exiles which Havana had accused of plotting to kill Cuba's President Castro. Angry at the pardons, Cuba severs ties with Panama. Newly-inaugurated President Martin Torrijos pledges to repair relations, and in November both countries agree to restore ties.

2006 - 2007

A free trade agreement with the US is negotiated in 2006 but its implementation is held up pending approval by the US Congress (not granted until 2011). Noriega's prison sentence in the USA is completed in 2007, but pending the outcome of extradition requests from both France and Panama he remains in prison.

2010 - 2011

France is granted its extradition request in April 2010. Noriega arrives in Paris on 27 April 2010 and, after a re-trial as a condition of the extradition, he is found guilty and sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2010. A conditional release is granted on 23 September 2011 for Noriega to be extradited to serve twenty years in Panama. He returns to Panama on 11 December 2011 where he is imprisoned in the El Renacer prison facility for crimes against Panamanians that were committed under his rule.