Panama demolishes former dictator's residence
Panama demolishes residence of former dictator Manuel Noriega
Associated Press
2014-01-10 03:01 AM

PANAMA CITY (AP) -- A bulldozer has started to demolish a mansion once owned by former dictator Manuel Noriega, after the Panamanian government found no buyers for it.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said Thursday the rambling, weed-choked residence had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, rats and other pests.

The estate valued at $2.5 million is in Panama City's posh San Francisco district, but a yearslong effort to sell it received no bids.

Previously, Martinelli proposed using the site as a "Memory Park" to remind Panamanians of the damage Noriega did to Panama.

Noriega was toppled by a 1989 U.S. invasion and served 17 years in the U.S. for drug trafficking.

The 79-year-old was later convicted in France of money laundering and returned to Panama to serve a 60-year sentence on charges including murder.

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