Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s brutal Medellín Cartel was responsible for trafficking tons of cocaine to North America and Europe in the 1980s and ’90s. The nation became a warzone as his sicarios mercilessly murdered thousands of people—competitors, police, and civilians—to ensure he remained Colombia’s reigning kingpin. With billions in personal income, Pablo Escobar bought off politicians and lawmen, and became a hero to poorer communities by building houses and sports centers. He was nearly untouchable despite the efforts of the Colombian National Police to bring him to justice.
But Escobar was also one of America’s most wanted, and the Drug Enforcement Administration was determined to see him pay for his crimes. Agents Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña were assigned to the Bloque de Búsqueda, the joint Colombian-U.S. taskforce created to end Escobar’s reign of terror. For eighteen months, between July 1992 and December 1993, Steve and Javier lived and worked beside Colombian authorities, finding themselves in the crosshairs of sicarios targeting them for the $300,000 bounty Escobar placed on each of their heads.
Undeterred, they risked the dangers, relentlessly and ruthlessly separating the drug lord from his resources and allies, and tearing apart his empire, leaving him underground and on the run from enemies on both sides of the law.
Manhunters presents Steve and Javier’s history in law enforcement from their rigorous physical training and their early DEA assignments in Miami and Austin to the Escobar mission in Medellin, Colombia—living far from home and serving as frontline soldiers in the never ending war on drugs that continues to devastate America.