Griselda Blanco: Who Was the ‘Cocaine Godmother?’

Griselda Blanco

Google - labeled for reuse Griselda Blanco, known as La Madrina, the Black Widow and the Cocaine Godmother, was a Colombian drug lord who amassed a vast cocaine empire in Miami in the '70s.

Griselda Blanco, known as La Madrina, the Black Widow, the Queen of Narco-Trafficking and the Cocaine Godmother, was a Colombian drug lord who amassed a vast cocaine empire and was a central figure in the violent drug wars in Miami in the 1970s and ’80s.

Blanco was a powerful woman, who flourished in a drug empire dominated by men. She built herself a $2 million empire before she was gunned down in Medellin by a motorcycle-riding assassin in September, 2012. She was 69-years-old at the time of her death.

Here’s what you need to know about Blanco:


Blanco Had a Bloody, Violent History of Carrying Out Her Own Style of Street Vengeance During Her Cartel Days

During Miami’s “Cocaine Cowboys” era of the ’70s and ’80s, Blanco was a force to be reckoned with. She sat behind bars for two decades in America for drug trafficking and three murders, including the 1982 slaying of a 2-year-old boy in Miami, according to the Miami Herald.

It has been estimated that she was responsible for up to 200 murders while transporting cocaine from Colombia to New York, Miami and Southern California. According to her former hitman Jorge Ayala, she didn’t mean to have the 2-year-old toddler killed, and was targeting the boys’ father for disrespecting her son. Ayala told police: “At first, she was real mad ’cause we missed the father. But when she heard we had gotten the son by accident, she said she was glad, that they were even.”

According to The Vintage News, Blanco was had been implicated in the deaths of all three of her husbands and convicted of three murders. She served two decades in New York and Florida on convictions of racketeering and murder, and had been deported back to Columbia in 2004.


She Committed Her First Murder at 11-Years-Old

According to Blanco’s former lover, Charles Cosby, she began a life of crime at a very early age. At age 11, she went with a group of friends to a nearby wealthy village and kidnapped a 10-year-old boy from a rich family. Blanco and her friends demanded  a ransom from the family, who refused to pay. Blanco was handed a gun and she shot the boy between the eyes.

According to DEA Agent Bob Palombo, she wasn’t trying to prove anything by murdering anybody, she was just a violent person. “I don’t think the fact that she was a female trying to prove something had anything to do with her violent behavior; I just think it was inherent to Griselda Blanco. This goes back to her life, the way she was brought up. She was just a violent person.”


She is Credited For Inventing Drive-By Motorcycle Murders – The Very Same Method That Murdered Her

In 1984, Blanco’s willingness to use violence against her Miami competitors and enemies led her rivals to make repeated attempts to assassinate her. In an attempt to escape the hits that were called on her, she fled to California, where she was eventually arrested, imprisoned and then released back to Columbia. She was assassinated in 2012 in front of a butcher shop.

“It’s some kind of poetic justice that she met an end that she delivered to so many others,” Professor Bruce Bagley, head of the University of Miami’s department of international studies and author of the book Drug Trafficking in the Americas, said to The Guardianshortly after her death in 2012. “She had lingering enemies almost everywhere you look. What goes around comes around.”


Her Son Stars on the VH1 Reality Series Cartel Crew

Michael Blanco is the youngest son of the Cocaine Godmother. Blanco initially followed his mother into a life of crime, essentially taking over the family business at the age of 12 when his brothers and mother were all incarcerated.

He carried on the business for 33 years, occasionally serving time himself for drug-related charges, before his mother was murdered. “When my mother was assassinated, I realized I had to change my life,” he told VH1. He launched his own personal clothing brand, “Pure Blanco,” and is attempting to lead a clean, legal lifestyle with his girlfriend Maria.

READ NEXT: Cartel Crew VH1 Cast Members and Spoilers


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