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Former dictator suing Activision over Call of Duty portrayal

Alleges it portrays Noriega as "enemy of the state"


Manuel Noriega, the 80-year-old former dictator of Panama, has filed a lawsuit against Activision for his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

The LA Times (via The Verge) reports that in the suit, Noriega alleges that his name and likeness were used without permission, and further, that the game portrays him as "a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state." He is seeking damages and lost profits, and claiming that use of his image helped boost sales by heightening the realism. 

In the game, Noriega betrayed the CIA. In real life, he was an ally of the United States, but the US government cut its ties and invaded Panama in 1989. At that point he was removed from power, detained as a prisoner of war, and sentenced. He now lives in Panama again.

As one lawyer pointed out to the BBC, Noriega isn't an American citizen, making his legal claims dubious. On top of that, he's a public figure and free speech laws generally allow them to be portrayed in media without explicit permission. 

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