Key dates in the life of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega:
—1934-38: Born in Panama City, year in dispute. Raised in poor neighborhood by foster parents.
—1957: Wins scholarship to military academy in Peru, then joins Panama's joint military and police force.
—1970: Placed in charge of military intelligence, working closely with the CIA.
—1981: Noriega's mentor, strongman Omar Torrijos, dies in a plane crash.
—1983: Noriega becomes chief of Panama's combined police and military forces.
—1984: Noriega-backed candidate named president despite opposition claims of fraud.
—1985: Body of Hugo Spadafora, who had accused Noriega of drug trafficking, found decapitated in Costa Rica.
—1987: Huge protests against Noriega erupt after retired colonel admits fraud in 1984 elections.
—1988: Noriega indicted in Florida on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. Coup fails.
—1989: Opposition claims fraud in general elections; Noriega annuls them and installs provisional president. Another coup suppressed. Noriega declared head of government. U.S. invades Panama; Noriega takes refuge in Vatican Embassy.
—1990: Noriega surrenders, convicted in Miami of drug racketeering and money laundering.
—2007: Noriega completes U.S. sentence, but held pending extradition request from France.
—April 26, 2010: Noriega extradited to France from the United States.
—April 27, 2010: Noriega faces money laundering charges in French court.