• Today
    July 08

  • 06:39 AM

Panama exhumes remains of victims from 1989 US invasion

BBC,

Added 22 June 2020

panama-exhumes-us-invasion-bodies

The remains were exhumed from the Jardín de Paz cemetery in the capital, Panama City. (Reuters)

The remains of 19 victims of the 1989 US invasion of Panama have been exhumed from a cemetery as part of an official investigation into the operation.

About 500 Panamanians are believed to have died in the invasion, but rights groups say the true number is higher.

The remains of the 19 victims were initially placed into a mass grave but later reburied in the Jardín de Paz cemetery in Panama City, along with dozens of others.

Some bodies remain unidentified.

Relatives say all the victims of the invasion must be identified so that families can find closure.

"We have been working for 30 years to make sure they have some inner peace," said Trinidad Ayola, president of an association that is helping to identify the victims.

The government of Juan Carlos Varela has set up a commission to investigate the death toll. Correspondents say the invasion is still a difficult period for many in Panama and there have been calls for December 20 to be an official day of mourning.

The invasion took place on December 20, 1989 after ties between the US government and Panamanian leader General Manuel Noriega sank to an all time low.

Then US President George H W Bush said he was ordering military action to "protect the lives of American citizens" and bring Noriega "to justice".

General Noriega was arrested two weeks later. He was taken to the US where he was sentenced to jail for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Noriega spent the rest of his life in custody - first in the US, then France and finally under house arrest in Panama. He died in 2017, aged 83, as a result of complications from an operation to remove a brain tumour. (BBC)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Should the headquarters of a new regional airline remain in Antigua & Barbuda?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM