PANAMA CITY.- Former Panamanian general Manuel Antonio Noriega, 83, underwent a tracheotomy and his health condition continues to be serious in the intensive care room where he was admitted due to complications after a removal of a benign brain tumor, his lawyer, Ezra Angel, told media.
"Yesterday he underwent a tracheotomy by medical procedure, however his medical condition remains the same," Angel said without going into more detail.
The lawyer, who has acted as spokesman for the Noriega family, said last Monday that after a week in intensive care the elderly former general remained in critical condition, and that he would not give more statements in the hospital, as he had done until then, until that medical condition would change.
Noriega, who ruled Panama de facto between 1983 and 1989, was removed the tumor but he had a cerebral hemorrhage and had to be assisted that day.
Since then, he has remained in the intensive care room of the state hospital Santo Tomás, in the Panamanian capital.
Noriega was admitted from the house of his daughter Sandra, as authorized by local Justice by granting a temporary house arrest to fulfill the pre and postoperative process given his complicated medical picture.
The former dictator arrived in his country in December 2011 and was confined in the prison the Renacer, in the outskirts of the Panamanian capital, to serve a series of sentences that add more than 60 years.
Noriega was extradited to Panama after serving more than 20 years in prison in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering.
His defense lawyer said last week that once he is discharged by his doctors, judges must decide whether to extend the house arrest measure.