PANAMA CITY — Six opposition leaders accused of plotting to overthrow the government returned Thursday from self-imposed exile in the United States.
The six are leaders of the Civic Crusade, a coalition of trade and business organizations that called for the resignation of the military strongman, Gen. Manuel A. Noriega. They fled four months ago after the government issued orders for their arrest. The six--Aurelio Barria, Eduardo Vallarino, Gilbert Mallol, Rafael Zuniga, Roberto Brenes and Bosco Vallarino--took advantage of a New Year's amnesty decreed by President Eric A. Delvalle.
Mallol, former president of Panama's Chamber of Commerce, told reporters: "We have come to reunite with this people who have struggled, and we have come to bring down Noriega."
Panama's political crisis began last June, when Col. Roberto Diaz Herrera accused Noriega and other officials of political assassination, corruption and fraud.