Name of leader         Moises Giroldi

 

Organization                     Forces of Moises Giroldi

 

Conflict country               Panama

 

Gender                               Male   

    

Year of birth                      9 May 1950

 

Place of birth                   Panama City, Panama

 

Year of death                   4 October 1989 [1]

 

 

Deceased

 

Yes; he died in 1989 of execution.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

In 1989, at the age 39.

 

Leader entry method

 

After Noriega had given him the order to shoot down US aircraft that flew over Panamanian airspace he became disillusioned with his rule and soon convinced other likeminded Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) officers to join him in a coup against Noriega.[2]

 

Powersharing

 

No; there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

He attended the military academy of Nicaragua (class of 1970-1974).[3] What is notable here is that a significant portion of the 1989 coup members had also studied at that academy.

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes;[4] in 1975, at the age of 25, he married. [4][5]

 

Children

 

Yes; he had children.[6]

 

Religious identification

 

He was Catholic.[7]

 

Elite Family background

 

No; he is not from an elite family background.

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

As he rose through the ranks of the PDF he became personally close with the dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega as many PDF officers did. An example of this was that Noreiga was godfather to all of the higher PDF officer’s children as was customary. However what made Giroldi special was the unique relationship he had with Noriega. Giroldi played a crucial role in saving Noreiga from an attempted coup in March 1988. After that Noreiga was very close with him and cared for his welfare as he personally promoted him to the rank of major in the PDF and made him head of the security unit at his personal headquarters the Commendancia.[8] 

 

Physical and mental health

 

No, there is no evidence of poor physical or mental health.

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

He was a Major in the Panama Defense Force, and head of security unit for Manuel Noriega.

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, he saved Noriega’s life in 1988 coup attempt of him.[9] After the coup he was made Major of the Fourth Infantry Brigade of Panamanian Defense Force and served as the head of the Security Unit at the Commendancia, Noreiga’s personal headquarters in Panama City.[10]

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a nonstate military.

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

Yes, he saved Noriega’s life in 1988 coup attempt of him[11]

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence he held a government position.

 

Lived in exile?

 

No, there is no evidence he lived in exile.

 

Study abroad?

 

Yes, he studied at the School of the Americas on multiple occasions and was taught at the Nicaraguan military academy.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

Yes, he was trained in a military academy in Nicaragua[12]Additionally, he received military training at the School of the Americas on multiple occasions: 1975 Counterinsurgency Operations, 1980 Small Unit Administration Course, and 1982 Military Intelligence Course (Distinguished graduate)[13]

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence he had extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

No, there is no evidence he served time in prison.

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No, there is no evidence of an assassination attempt by the state.

 

Cause of Death?

 

“The army major who led the unsuccessful coup a week ago against Panama's Gen. Manuel A. Noriega was buried Monday. Several reports have said that an enraged Noriega shot Maj. Moises Giroldi Vega to death minutes after the coup attempt against the Panamanian leader.”[14] His wife and the international community maintain that after surrendering to Noriega’s forces he was tortured and then executed with some, Giroldi’s wife, personally claiming that Noriega pulled the trigger.[15]

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

He spoke Spanish as his primary language. [16]

 

 

[1]Image Credit: https://alchetron.com/cdn/moiss-giroldi-38493fe4-dd85-41e2-b265-0817f836ce0-resize-750.jpg

(For non-commercial use, all credits belong to the original owners, please contact for removal)

 “Leader of Failed Panama Coup Is Buried,” Los Angeles Times, Accessed August 26, 2017, http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-10/news/mn-258_1_coup-attempt.

[2] Kevin Buckley, Panama, (New York: Touchstone, 1991), 196.

[3] “¡Yo no ordené matar a Giroldi!” Critica, January, 28, 2017,

https://www.critica.com.pa/nacional/yo-no-ordene-matar-giroldi-462683

[4] David E. Pitt, “Widow of Panama Coup Leader Says Fellow Plotter Betrayed Him,” The New York Times, October 12, 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/12/world/widow-of-panama-coup-leader-says-fellow-plotter-betrayed-him.html?mcubz=0.

[5] Bill Hewit and Meg Grant, “The Widow of a Slain Rebel Leader Looks Back in Anguish After the Failed Coup in Panama,” People, October, 30, 1989,

https://people.com/archive/the-widow-of-a-slain-rebel-leader-looks-back-in-anguish-after-the-failed-coup-in-panama-vol-32-no-18/

[6] Kevin Buckley, Panama The Whole Story (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 194.

[7] Frederick Kempe, Divorcing The Dictator: America’s Bungled Affair With Noriega (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons), 371.

[8] Lawerence Yates,  The U.S. Military Intervention in Panama, (Washington D.C: Center of Military History United States Army, 2008), 250.

[9] “¡Yo no ordené matar a Giroldi!” Critica, January, 28, 2017,

https://www.critica.com.pa/nacional/yo-no-ordene-matar-giroldi-462683

[10] Bill Hewit and Meg Grant, “The Widow of a Slain Rebel Leader Looks Back in Anguish After the Failed Coup in Panama,” People, October, 30, 1989,

https://people.com/archive/the-widow-of-a-slain-rebel-leader-looks-back-in-anguish-after-the-failed-coup-in-panama-vol-32-no-18/

[11] Bill Hewit and Meg Grant, “The Widow of a Slain Rebel Leader Looks Back in Anguish After the Failed Coup in Panama,” People, October, 30, 1989,

https://people.com/archive/the-widow-of-a-slain-rebel-leader-looks-back-in-anguish-after-the-failed-coup-in-panama-vol-32-no-18/

[12] David E. Pitt, “Widow of Panama Coup Leader Says Fellow Plotter Betrayed Him,” The New York Times, October 12, 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/12/world/widow-of-panama-coup-leader-says-fellow-plotter-betrayed-him.html?mcubz=0.

[13] Vickey Imerman, “Notorious Panamanian School of the Americas Graduates,” SOMA, accessed Novermber 9, 2018

http://www.derechos.org/soa/panam-not.html

[14] “ Leader of Failed Panama Coup Is Buried,” Los Angeles Times, Accessed August 26, 2017, http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-10/news/mn-258_1_coup-attempt.

[15] Joseph B. Treastar. “Panamanian Captain Buried Amid Reports of Executions,” New York Times, October 11, 1989,

https://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/11/world/panamanian-captain-buried-amid-reports-of-executions.html

[16] “Languages," Central Intelligence Agency, Accessed July 4, 2020, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/402.html