During his heyday, Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel were pushing an estimated 70-80 tons of cocaine into the U.S. every month. DEA agents Javier Peña and Steve Murphy were stationed in Colombia and were assigned to take down Escobar and the Medellin cartel.
Many Americans had no idea who Murphy and Pena were until the Netflix series “Narcos” was released. And although the series, like all Hollywood films, took some liberties with the true story, it finally brought Murphy and Pena to the forefront.
The DEA agents worked in Medellin out of the police force base and were part of the Search Bloc (Bloque de Búsqueda), the CNP’s Special Operations unit in charge of the search for Escobar. The task force also included members of Delta Force, Navy SEALs, NSA, and CIA. It was the CIA that both Murphy and Peña remember as being as much at odds with the DEA as it was with the cartel.
But it was these true American heroes provide a first-hand lesson in history as they discuss their efforts bringing down the world’s first narco-terrorist, the challenges they faced in oftentimes hostile and life-threatening environments, and the innovative strategies they employed to successfully end the reign of terror of Pablo Escobar.