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Former Dictator Manuel Noriega Sues 'Call of Duty' Makers

The former Panamanian dictator is seeking more than $25,000 in damages over the use of his likeness in the popular game.
Image: General Manuel Antonio Noriega speaks 20 May 1988
General Manuel Antonio Noriega speaks 20 May 1988 in Panama City during the presentation of colors to the San Miguel Arcangel de San Miguelito volunteer battalion. Noriega said that discussions with the U.S. could not continue as long as the U.S. continued its aggression and that Panamanian democracy will not follow an North American schedule.Angel Murillo / AFP - Getty Images file

A former Central American dictator wants his day in court over the use of his likeness in the popular “Call of Duty” video game franchise. Manuel Noriega, ex-dictator of Panama, is suing the California-based video game publisher Activision, Forbes reported Wednesday. The dictator takes issue with scenes in the game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” which the lawsuit claims portrays Noriega as “an antagonist” and “the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes.”

Noriega’s legal team contends that the 80-year-old former general did not authorize or consent to his likeness being used in the game. The lawsuit is seeking upwards of $25,000 in restitution and damages. Noriega is currently serving a 20-year sentence in his native Panama, following lengthy sentences served in the U.S. and France for crimes including drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega was captured during the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 – prior to that, he had acted as the Central American country’s leader for roughly six years, enjoying support from the U.S. early in his career.


— Jacob Passy