Tensions were coming to a head in Panama as incidents of harassment of U.S. military and dependent personnel continued to increase in frequency. GEN Noriega's Panamanian Defense Forces became the security arm of his organized criminal activities. They continued to expand their unchecked power over all aspects of civil rule, terrorizing the Panamanian people.
Exact date unknown - Panama In an attempt to deflect responsibility for direct involvement in the disruption of upcoming elections, GEN Noriega organized the "Battalions de la Dignidad" (Dignity Battalions), a paramilitary force of hardcore supporters. They were armed, wore maroon shirts to identify themselves from the local citizenry, and were directed by the PDF to disrupted public rallies, beat political opposition leaders and intimidate their supporters.