Vicky Amado: What Happened to Manuel Noreiga’s Mistress?

For fans of espionage, Netflix’s ‘Spy Ops’ is a must-watch, given the real-life spy operations that the documentary series details. In each episode, we are introduced to a different storyline, the one titled ‘Operation Just Cause.’ In this particular case, we get to know details of how the US forces worked in Panama to overthrow Manuel Noriega, the country’s dictator. One of the people most crucial to this story was Vicky Amado (0r Vicki Amado), Noriega’s mistress. Naturally, people are curious about where she is these days.

Who is Vicky Amado?

While gathering intelligence against Manuel Noriega, there were a few facts that US Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst Martha Duncan was certain about. One of these pieces of information was the affection that Noreiga had for his mistress, Vicky Amado. This apparently prompted US spies to start frequenting the same hair care establishments that Vicky frequented so as to gather any information possible, either via secondhand gossip or directly from the woman in question.

Manuel Noriega

When the US forces invaded Panama in December 1989, as per Operation Just Cause, their primary objective was to effectively depose Noreiga. However, the man in question was nowhere to be found, prompting the invading forces to start a search across all locations where the dictator could have sought shelter. One thing that the US intelligence was sure of was that Vicky Amado would likely be their ticket to solve the issue of the missing autocrat.

In the press report by General Maxwell Thurman, he stated, ”Noriega’s first action was not to call his wife, but rather his mistress,” and he allegedly tried to contact Vicky’s family as well. ”According to our sources,” Thurman added, ”he never attempted to call his wife.” Hence, Martha Duncan established contact with Vicky, pretending to be someone who was going to possibly take her to Noreiga, after realizing that she was unaware of where the Panama leader was.

Not long after Vicky was in US custody, Noreiga took sanctuary in the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican embassy in Panama. Knowing that they could not attack the Papal property, the US forces asked Vicky to talk to Noreiga and convince him to surrender. Their knowledge of the autocrat’s character via Vicky helped them realize that Noreiga might surrender should he be allowed the chance to do so with dignity. Hence, a freshly laundered and pressed set of his army uniform was sent to him, which he wore while surrendering on January 3, 1990.

Vicky Amado Prefers to Lead a Low-Key Life Today

Manuel Noriega

Together, Vicky Amado and Manuel Noriega had one son who was even mentioned after the latter’s death on May 29, 2017. As for Vicky herself, it was found out that there were multiple expensive assets in her name that could have been bought by her partner, like the $27-million castle in the South of France. Following the capture of Noriega, Vicky remained in US custody while the officials in Panama started to build a case to charge her for alleged corruption. Not much is known about Amado following her whereabouts during the US invasion, though it is highly likely that she faced some form of punishment in Panama due to her involvement with Noreiga.

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