Louisiana parole board recommends eligibility for federal informant killer

A Louisiana parole board is recommending that a man convicted in the 1986 death of drug smuggler and federal informant Barry Seal be made eligible for parole.

The Advocate reports that the Pardons and Parole board has sent the recommendation to Gov. John Bel Edwards in the case of Bernardo Antonio Vasquez.

Vasquez was one of three men convicted and sentenced to life for killing Seal, a federal informant who implicated Colombian drug lords in many crimes. Seal was killed outside a Baton Rouge halfway house in February 1986.

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A spokesperson for the governor said this week that the recommendation is under review.

Bernardo Vasquez was convicted of killing federal informant Barry Seal in 1986. Vasquez was sentenced to life in prion and the Louisiana parole board recommended parole eligibility.

Trial evidence indicated Seal was murdered as part of a contract from Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel and Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Escobar died in a shootout with authorities in Medellin in 1993.

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Vasquez told the board he has spent much of his sentence pursuing forgiveness from Seal’s family through victim-offender dialogues sanctioned by Pardons and Parole, according to The Advocate. His remorse, clean jail record and an endorsement from the warden of David Wade Correctional Center resulted in a unanimous vote by the parole board to recommend Vasquez’s sentence be reduced to 99 years with immediate parole eligibility.