It’s been a long time since Manuel Noriega went to prison. The former military dictator of Panama was arrested and extradited to the U.S. in 1992 after the U.S. military invaded that country and overthrew his rule. Since then he’s done stints in prison in the U.S., until 2007, and France, until 2011, and is now serving 20 years in a Panamanian prison.
So, time has not been kind to Mr. Noriega. However, being cast as a real life character in “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” that you could beat up and choke was apparently a bridge too far.
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has sued the games’ publisher, Activision, for using his likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops II without his permission. He argues that he’s entitled to damages because his presence both violated his publicity rights and helped “heighten realism,” leading to added profits that should have been his.
There’s no doubt that it’s Noriega in the game, but he may have a tougher time getting a check from game developers than, say, college football players. As attorney Jas Purewal tells the BBC, Noriega isn’t an American resident and might not even get his foot in the door.
Trained in intelligence and counterintelligence at a School of the Americas location by the CIA way back in 1967 as well as PSYOPS at Fort Bragg, Noriega was America’s arm in Panama and the relationship lasted from the mid-1950s until 1988, the height of his power with the drug cartels.
And while some may think he may not have a chance in court, he’s got 20 years to serve and nothing else to do and it would be interesting to see if a judge agreed with Activision that Noriega is merely a “historical character.”