Omar Torrijos was born on February 13, 1929, in Santiago de Veragua, Panama. He joined the National Guard of Panama and rose to brigadier general. In 1968, he helped overthrow President Arnulfo Arias and Torrijos emerged as a dictator-like leader, a position he held until 1978. In 1977, he signed a treaty with the U.S. to bring the Panama Canal back under Panamanian control. He died in 1981 near Penonomé, Panama.
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