Panama. In January, the last US troops left the Querry
Heights military center under the 1977 agreement governing
the US presence and the Panama Canal surrender to Panama on
December 31, 1999. Panama-US negotiations to make the old US
air base Howard the center for the fight against drugs were
later added down without agreement. Instead, the country's
entrepreneurs suggested that the base be converted into a
distribution center for goods.
In a referendum in August, the Panamans voted against a
constitutional amendment that would have given President
Ernesto Pérez Balladares the right to re-run for president
in the 1999 elections. Congress had previously approved the
Countryaah, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal from
Panama's former leader, General Manuel Noriega, who is
jailed in Florida. The court upheld the previous sentence of
40 years in prison for drug smuggling and bribery.
Panama was hit in October by Hurricane Mitch's progress
but not to the extent of neighboring countries in the north.