Narcos agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena’s Pablo Escobar show

Javier Pena and Steve Murphy.
Javier Pena and Steve Murphy.

RETIRED US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena didn’t joined law enforcement to brag about themselves for fame or glory.

However, they both came under the spotlight after their involvement in the manhunt of ‘king of cocaine’ Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

“Escobar grew up poor and started out as just a small time thief; he started making money from stealing hubcaps and gravestones,” Murphy said.

“He was introduced to cocaine and he saw how quickly he could make a lot of money without a lot of risk. He also had a propensity for violence, so if he had to kill somebody that wasn’t a big deal for him.

“He started employing his sadistic ways among his competitors and it wasn’t long before he’d worked his way up where he was responsible for as much as 80 percent of the world’s cocaine.”

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Pena volunteered for assignment in Colombia in 1988 before Escobar surrendered, while Murphy was sent from Miami in 1991 after Escobar escaped from his custom-built luxury prison in Medellin.

They partnered for the second manhunt of Escobar, working with Colombian National Police, that resulted in his shooting on December 2, 1993.

“Back then it was a huge criminal case to be going after the biggest cocaine trafficker in the world,” Murphy said.

“We knew it would probably be the biggest case of our career.”

After turning down a couple of producers who wanted to make political statements with the story, Murphy and Pena finally agreed in 2013 to work with executive producer Eric Newman on Netflix series Narcos.

They both had roles as consultants on the show and were portrayed by actors Boyd Holbrook (Murphy) and Pedro Pascal (Pena).

WA Police invited the pair to Perth this week to speak at a regional drug enforcement conference and they will return in July for their stage show A Conversation on Narcos with Steve Murphy and Javier Pena.

Pena said the show gave them a chance to talk about the real history of Escobar, taking audiences through a cocaine lab, his ranch Hacienda Npoles, the custom-built prison and a re-enactment video of what happened on December 2, 1993.

“We always have a question and answer session at the end so people can ask us about the case, the making of Narcos, any other TV shows we’ve been on and about our personal lives to a certain degree,” Murphy said.

“It’s not like a big classroom lecture and we try to evoke some humour and have some fun by getting them involved a little bit.”

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THE ESSENTIALS

What: A Conversation on Narcos with Steve Murphy and Javier Pena

Where: Astor Theatre

When: July 19

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au