The name Javier Pena might be recognized by many of us these days because of the Netflix show Narcos, but prior to the show’s release, he was simply the man who helped capture Columbian cocaine king Pablo Escobar in 1993.
Escobar, who was believed to be responsible for about 80 percent of America’s cocaine supply from the 80s till his death in December 1993, per LADbible, was also one of the most dangerous men on the planet during his run, killing thousands of people in his native Columbia and single-handedly starting a way with the country’s government.
So what was it like to track down that sort of cold-blooded killer? Javier Pena talked to Australia’s 3AW what some of his own fears were, as well as the mission to capture Escobar, per News.AU.
With 15,000 people killed at the hands and orders of Escobar, Mr Pena revealed he himself was in great danger.
“Fifteen car bombs a day were going off. Officials were being killed left, right and centre,” he said.
“My biggest fear were the car bombs. You never knew where he would put it. Wrong place, wrong time. He would put them outside our base and target police officers.”
Mr Pena said Escobar manipulated Colombians, and many saw him as a hero.
“He started off building homes, helping the church — the Catholic priest was on his side,” he said.
“He bought people, he was a manipulator. He knew what to do and he would turn around and order ‘go and kill that judge or attorney general’.
“It was all part of his mastermind, to try to say that he was a good guy.”
The entire video of Pena’s interview with 3AW can be found here, which is a revealing take into what the streets of Columbia were like during those dangerous times with Pablo Escobar around.