The Americas

Panama ex-dictator Noriega has surgery to remove brain tumor

Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega gestures inside of El Ranacer prison.

Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega gestures inside of El Ranacer prison.  (AP)

The daughter of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega says he had an operation to remove a benign brain tumor.

Thays Noriega says her father is out of surgery and in intensive care at a Panama City hospital.

Hospital officials have not given a report on Tuesday's operation and did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

The 83-year-old former strongman had been in prison for corruption and the killings of opponents during his 1983-89 regime.

He was transferred to house arrest Jan. 29 to prepare for the procedure originally scheduled for Feb. 15.

Noriega was ousted by a U.S. invasion in 1989 and jailed for years in the United States on drug charges. He was then imprisoned in France for money laundering and returned to Panama in 2011.