Griselda Blanco

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Griselda Blanco
Gunshot wounds
Other names
  • La Dama de la Mafia ('The Lady of the Mafia')
  • The Godmother
  • The Black Widow
Spouses
  • Carlos Trujillo
  • Alberto Bravo
  • Darío Sepúlveda
Children4 sons
Second degree murder
(3 counts)
Criminal penalty
  • Federal: 15 years' imprisonment
  • Florida: 20 years' imprisonment

Griselda Blanco Restrepo[2] (February 15, 1943 – September 3, 2012) was a Colombian drug lord who was prominent in the cocaine-based drug trade and underworld of Miami, during the 1970s through the early 2000s, and who has also been claimed by some to have been part of the Medellín Cartel.[3][4][5] Blanco was assassinated in Medellín on September 3, 2012, age 69.[6]

Early life

Griselda Blanco Restrepo was born in Cartagena, Colombia, on the country's north coast. She and her mother, Ana Restrepo,[7] moved south to Medellín when she was three years old; this exposed her to a criminal lifestyle at an impressionable age, as Medellín was enduring years of its own socioeconomic, social and political troubles. Blanco's former lover, Charles Cosby, recounted that, at the age of 11, she allegedly kidnapped, attempted to ransom, and ultimately shot a child from an upscale neighborhood near her home.[1][8][9] Blanco had become a pickpocket before she was a teenager. To escape the sexual abuse of her mother's boyfriend, she ran away from home at the age of 19, resorting to theft for survival in the city center until the age of 20.[1][8] It is speculated that she may have engaged in prostitution to better support herself financially during this time, although she denied this.[10][11]

Drug business

Blanco was a key figure in the establishment of the cocaine trade between Colombia and large North American cities like Miami and New York, as well as to dealers in California.[citation needed] Her distribution network, which spanned across the United States and Colombia, earned $80 million per month.[1]

Blanco and her first husband, Carlos Trujillo, first started a

]

Her return coincided with the beginning of numerous violent public conflicts—notably, hundreds of homicides per year—that plagued the Metro Miami area during the 1980s, a time known as the Miami drug war. This was a period when cocaine was extremely lucrative, and trafficked more than cannabis.[12] The struggle by law enforcement to end the influx of cocaine into Miami led to the creation of CENTAC 26 (Central Tactical Unit), a joint operation between the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) antidrug operation.[13][14]

Arrest

On February 17, 1985, Blanco was arrested in her home by DEA agents and subsequently charged with conspiring to manufacture, import, and distribute cocaine. The case went to trial in federal court in New York City, where she was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.[15]

While serving her sentence, she was charged with three additional counts of first-degree murder by the state of Florida. The prosecution made a deal with one of Blanco's most trusted hitmen, Jorge Ayala, who agreed to testify that Blanco had ordered him to carry out the killings; however, the case collapsed due to technicalities relating to a phone sex scandal between Ayala and two female secretaries employed at the state attorney's office.[16] In 1998, Blanco pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, to run concurrently.[17] In 2002, Blanco, a lifelong cigarette smoker, suffered a heart attack in prison.[18]

In 2004, in light of her frail health, she was granted compassionate release from prison in the United States and deported back to Colombia.[1]

Personal life

Blanco had three husbands and four children. She met first husband Carlos Trujillo when she was 13 years old. She and Trujillo had three sons together in Medellín: Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo. All three were born before Blanco was 21.[1] Blanco and Trujillo divorced but remained business partners. After an argument over a business deal that went awry, Blanco had Trujillo executed.

Following her marriage to Trujillo, Blanco married Alberto Bravo. After returning to Colombia, Blanco accused Bravo of stealing millions of dollars from the enterprise, and Bravo accused Blanco of letting her "Godmother" nickname go to her head. Blanco murdered Bravo by shooting him in the head.

Blanco had her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco (named after the character Michael Corleone from the film The Godfather) with her third husband, Darío Sepúlveda.[5] Sepúlveda left her in 1983, returned to Colombia, and kidnapped Michael when he and Blanco disagreed over who would have custody. Blanco paid to have Sepúlveda assassinated in Colombia, and her son returned to her in the US.[19]

According to the Miami New Times, "Michael's father and older siblings were all killed before he reached adulthood. His mother was in prison for most of his childhood and teenage years, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother and legal guardians."[19] In 2012, Michael was put under house arrest after a sentencing on two felony counts of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.[20] He appeared on a 2018 episode of the Investigation Discovery documentary series Evil Lives Here to recount his lonely childhood. In 2019, he was featured on the VH1 docuseries Cartel Crew, which follows the descendants of drug lords. He also runs a clothing brand, Pure Blanco.[5][21][22][23][24]

According to Michael, his mother became a born-again Christian in her later years.[25]

Death

On September 3, 2012, Blanco and her pregnant daughter-in-law went to the Cardiso butcher shop on the corner of 29th Street in Medellín. As she exited, an assassin on a motorcycle shot her twice, killing her.[5][26] The act mimicked the assassination style that Blanco practiced during the Miami Drug War.[27]

Popular culture

Blanco has been featured in multiple documentaries, series, films, and songs, including several upcoming projects.

See also

References

  1. ^
    ISSN 1092-9789. Archived from the original
    on June 14, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  2. ^ "Comienza extinción de dominio a bienes de Griselda Blanco en Antioquia – RCN Radio". RCN Radio (in European Spanish). September 9, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "Griselda Blanco". Biography. March 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "The life and death of 'cocaine mother' Griselda Blanco". Miami Herald.
  5. ^ a b c d Luscombe, Richard (September 4, 2012). "'Godmother of cocaine' shot dead in Colombia". The Guardian. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  6. ^ ""Cocaine mother" Griselda Blanco gunned down in Colombia". miamiherald.com. September 3, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "Her mother's name". Semana (in Spanish). Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012. Su madre Ana Lucía Restrepo era la criada de una finca en Cartagena, pero fue despedida cuando quedó embarazada de su patrón.
  8. ^ . Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Cosby, Charles. "Charles Cosby: From Early Childhood to Cocaine and Hustlin'". The Blog Union.
  10. .
  11. .
  12. . Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  13. . Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Griselda Blanco: hasta nunca y gracias por la coca". VICE – España. September 5, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "United States v Blanco". Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  16. ^ "Secretaries Suspended Over Phone Sex". Associated Press. February 24, 1998. Archived from the original on March 31, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  17. ^ "The Incredible Story of Colombia's 'Godmother of Cocaine'". Business Insider.
  18. ^ Lathem, Niles (June 8, 2000). "QUEENS NOW RULE WHERE KINGPINS ONCE REIGNED: WOMEN ARE RUNNING DRUG RINGS AFTER FALL OF COLOMBIAN CARTELS". New York Post.
  19. ^ a b Alvarado, Francisco (October 13, 2011). "Michael Corleone Blanco lives in the shadow of his cocaine-queen mother". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  20. ^ Alvarado, Francisco (September 5, 2012). "Griselda Blanco's Son Michael Corleone Still Faces Cocaine Trafficking Charge in Miami". Miami New Times. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  21. ^ Pablo Escobar and Colombian Narcoculture by Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky, 163-164
  22. ^ Swartz, James A. Substance Abuse in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide. p. 193.
  23. ^ Hornberger, Francine. Mistresses of mayhem: the book of female criminals. p. 32.
  24. ^ Morton, James. The Mammoth Book of Gangs.
  25. ^ "'Cocaine Cowboys' Griselda Blanco, Real-Life 'Female Tony Montana', Gunned Down in Colombia". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  26. ^ Robles, Frances; Bargent, James (September 5, 2012). "The life and death of 'cocaine mother' Griselda Blanco". Miami Herald.
  27. ISSN 0261-3077
    . Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  28. .
  29. ^ [한글자막] 폴블랑코에게 97년생이 맞냐고 묻다, retrieved September 10, 2023
  30. ^ Evans, Greg (May 18, 2017). "Lifetime Greenlights 'Cocaine Godmother' Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  31. The Vancouver Sun
    . Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  32. ^ "Canadian certifications – Pengz, Two Two – Griselda Blanco". Music Canada. Retrieved November 29, 2021.

Sources

External links