DEA agents discuss Escobar drug trafficking

On Tuesday night, students gathered in the Cox Auditorium to hear the often life-threatening experiences and challenges two DEA agents faced when taking down infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar and his organization.

Javier Pena and Steve Murphy, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents and lead investigators of the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar and his organization spoke in Cox Auditorium at the University of Tennessee Tuesday night.

Pena and Murphy began the lecture by asking the crowd if they had seen the Netflix show ‘Narcos,’ which centers around the life of Escobar. Before speaking, they showed a short clip of the show.

Pena and Murphy took turns sharing their experiences and factual explanations as to who Escobar was and how he affected the lives of many American and Colombian Citizens. According to Pena and Murphy, Pablo Escobar is not only responsible for 80 percent of cocaine distribution in the world during his time, but also for the deaths of 10-15,000 innocent people. 

Escobar convinced the Colombian government to reduce his prison sentence to five years, to build and staff his own prison where he would serve his time and to allow his possession of all illegally earned assets in exchange for calling off his war on Colombia.

Murphy explained that Escobar’s estimated wealth lies somewhere between $8 and $30 billion dollars. After Escobar’s death, death rates in Colombia decreased by more than 80 percent.

Murphy and Pena closed the night with a Q&A segment. One attendee asked how Murphy felt looking down at Escobar’s deceased body.

“It truly felt like the weight of the world was off of our shoulders,” Murphy said.

While waiting to enter the event, one UT student compared the size of the crowd to the numerous students who waited to hear scientist Bill Nye when he spoke two years ago.

“I’m not sure why this wasn’t held in Thompson-Boiling, honestly. This line is crazy long, I mean it is ‘Narcos,’ what did they expect?” Trevor Ferugson said.


For more information on the Netflix show ‘Narcos,’ visit the IMDB page.


Featured Image by Arial Starks

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

+ posts