'You have to fight it': Pablo Escobar's captors on New Zealand's meth problem

They helped take down the world's most powerful drug lord, Pablo Escobar and now they're in New Zealand with advice on how we can tackle our own drug problem.

Former DEA agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy are the focus of the hit Netflix series Narcos, and they're here as part of their world tour to tell the 'true story'.

"This is the last thing we ever thought we'd be doing in retirement," says Mr Murphy.

They led the team sent to capture Pablo Escobar, the King of Cocaine.

"Pablo Escobar was the most barbaric narco trafficker that we encountered," says Mr Pena.

"Ruthless and pure evil," says Mr Murphy, "He's one of the most evil people that's ever walked the face of our earth."

Escobar built his multi-billion-dollar drug empire on terrorism, killing thousands of police officers and innocent people before he was finally shot dead in a rooftop firefight in 1993.

"We assisted the Colombia National Police, they're the real heroes in all this, we assisted them in the search and the final take down of Pablo Escobar," says Javier Pena.

Twenty-six years on, life for the former DEA agents is very different, but their experience still haunts them.

"The memories I have is my good friends that were killed, police officers that were killed by Pablo Escobar," says Mr Pena.

"We went to a funeral one time, there were eight caskets of Colombian police officers that we worked with," says Mr Murphy.

And there were times they wanted to give up.

"But when you see your friends get killed and you see innocent people get killed, you can't do it," says Mr Pena.  

But they say lessons can be learned from history, particularly when it comes to dealing with our own drug problem, methamphetamine.

"You have to fight it, and enforcement is not the only thing, we need more education type programmes, more socialisation type programmes, starting with younger people at school age, it's a combination," says Mr Pena.

"It's out there, traffickers don't care, they're going to send their dope.  Their main thing is to make money, so people die, do you think they care, of course not," says Mr Pena, "We need to get better in all facets, enforcement, socialisation, education."

On Wednesday night they'll be in Wellington as part of their world tour, telling the real story of Pablo Escobar.

Their book, Manhunters, is out in December.