Former dictator Manuel Noriega suing ‘Call of Duty’ makers


Marines of Company D, 2nd Light Armored Infantry Battalion, stand guard with their LAV-25 light armored vehicles outside a destroyed Panamanian Defense Force building during the first day of Operation Just Cause. (Defense Department photo by PH1 Elliot)

The 80-year-old former dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, might be sticking to Pac-Man from here on out.

The onetime star of the 1989 U.S.-led invasion of Panama is suing Santa Monica, Calif.-based video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. for using his name and likeness without permission in the 2012 blockbuster video game hit: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the game portrays him as “a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Noriega took control of Panama in 1983 and was deposed in 1989 when he was captured during the U.S.-led operation “Operation Just Cause.” After more than a decade in prison, he was released back to Panama in 2011, where he currently resides in a hospital.

In the game, Noriega goes by the call sign “False Prophet” and on numerous occasions betrays the game’s protagonist and shoots his own soldiers.

Noriega is apparently also upset that his character was used to “heighten realism” in the game, something he believes that helped increase the games sales.

Black Ops II netted more than $1 billion in less than a month after its release.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a Washington Post contributor and a former U.S. infantry Marine.
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