Published on theMusic.com.au, Dec 2018
The rise and fall of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar was thrown into the spotlight via Netflix’s Narcos back in 2015, and now, 25 years after his death, the former DEA agents who inspired the hit series, Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, will tour Australia to tell the real story.
Today marks exactly 25 years since Colombian police shot and killed Escobar on a rooftop.
“It honestly doesn’t seem like it’s been 25 years,” Murphy told The Music.
“Neither one of us ever thought the popularity that has come from Narcos would have anything to do with us – we are shocked by the worldwide interest about this.”
The image of Murphy posing over Escobar’s dead body has become iconic, but as he tells, the show used some creative licence during that pivotal scene.
“Narcos portrays that I was on the roof when Pablo was killed – that’s not true,” Murphy said.
“I was back at the police base, the Columbian National Police were the only ones out there and they took care of business.
“Back at the base, you’re thinking, ‘Could this really be over? Is this really true?’ And then when you get out there and see what’s taken place, you realise that it is.
“It was a great feeling of elation; the weight of the world had been lifted off your shoulders and you knew that thousands of people were safer now, simple because Pablo was gone.”
Unfortunately, Pena wasn’t nearby when Escobar was taken down.
“The Ambassador had ordered me to go talk to an informant who told the Embassy he knew where Pablo Escobar was and was only going to give that information to me,” Pena said.
“Luckily, Steve was there, had the only camera and took all the photos, which are now famous.
“I was very happy; it was personal, Pablo killed some of my friends, so this was a great, great victory for everybody – Columbians, Americans, the world. Basically, justice had finally been done.”
Part of the reason they signed on to work with Netflix was to ensure Escobar wasn’t “glamourised” in any way, and their A Conversation On Narcos tour, which hits Australia in July, dives deeper into the terror the billionaire cocaine lord unleashed.
And, as they exclusively detailed to The Music, they’re also penning a novel that goes into further detail.
“We haven’t told anybody else, but we’re writing a book, so it’ll come out probably November of next year,” Murphy revealed.
“It’ll be about our law enforcement careers and the story of Pablo.”
Check out theGuide for all A Conversation On Narcos tour dates.