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Dictator's lair being demolished

Panama is demolishing a mansion once owned by former dictator Manuel Noriega, after the government found no buyers for it.

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

The estate valued at 2.5 million US dollars is in Panama City's San Francisco district, but an effort to sell it received no bids.

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

Mr Noriega was toppled by a 1989 US invasion and served 17 years in the US 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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