Soldier Ambushed In Panama Buried
GUAYANILLA, Puerto Rico (AP) _ A commander of U.S. forces in Panama joined hundreds of mourners Monday in the funeral of a serviceman killed in Panama the day before President Bush’s arrival.
Army Cpl. Alberto Hernandez Laporte, 22, was shot from ambush by three men north of Panama City on Wednesday. Sgt. Ronald T. Marshall, 24, of Fordyce, Ark., was injured in the ambush.
Hernandez Laporte, a Gulf War veteran, was buried with military honors in his hometown of Guayanilla, about 210 miles southwest of San Juan.
Maj. Gen. Felix A. Santoni, second in command of U.S. forces in Panama, said Hernandez Laporte ″had been helping create a better form of life in Panama was killed in that matter.″
He handed a purple heart and an American flag to Hernandez Laporte’s parents.
Bush stopped in Panama en route to the Earth Summit in Brazil. He left an outdoor podium in Panama City before his planned speech because of disturbances by protesters and tear gas attacks by police.
U.S. forces invaded Panama in December 1989 to oust Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was convicted in April of drug trafficking charges in Miami.