The Washington Post

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 staff writer and a former Marine infantryman.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.
Next Story
Stephanie McCrummen · July 16, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.