Dead, Griselda Blanco on September 3, 2012, she was a drug lord of the Medellín Cartel and a pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine drug trade and underworld during the 1970s and early 1980s.
She was an important member of the Medellin Cartel but developed a bad rapport with the Cartel when she had the niece of the Ochoa family of the Medellin Cartel, Marta Saldarriaga Ochoa, murdered in order to not pay for a shipment of cocaine delivered by Marta.
Born in Cartagena, Colombia, on the country’s north coast on February 15, 1943, she and her mother, Ana Lucía Restrepo, moved to Medellín when she was three years old.
In the documentary film Cocaine Cowboys II: Hustlin’ with the Godmother, Blanco’s former lover, Charles Cosby, recounted how Blanco, at age 11, allegedly kidnapped, tried to ransom, and eventually shot a child from an upscale flatland neighborhood near her own slum neighborhood.
In the mid-1970s, Blanco and her second husband, Alberto Bravo, emigrated to the US, settling in Queens, New York.
They established a sizable cocaine business there, and in April 1975, Blanco was indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges along with 30 of her subordinates, at that time the biggest cocaine case in history.
She fled to Colombia before she could be arrested, but in the late 1970s she returned to Miami.
Blanco had four sons, three of whom were killed in Colombia after being deported following prison sentences in the United States.
Blanco bore her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco by her lover Darío Sepúlveda, who left her in 1983, returning to Colombia, kidnapping Michael when he and Griselda disagreed over who would take custody.
Blanco paid to have Sepulveda assassinated in Colombia, and her son returned to her in Miami.
According to the Miami New Times, “Michael’s father and older siblings were all killed before he reached adulthood.
His mom was in prison for most of his childhood and teenage years, and he was raised by his maternal grandmother and legal guardians.”
In the 1980s, Blanco was livingly comfortably in a newly purchased home in Miami. By this time, the infamous drug trafficker had become a millionaire, and had taken on various nicknames, including “The Godmother,” “Queen of Cocaine” and “Black Widow.”
In 1994, Blanco, now a federal prison inmate, was transported back to Miami on three murder charges (She had been named a suspect, however, in more than 200 murders).
In a strange turn of events, however, the case was thrown out: The star witness in the case, a hitman named Jorge “Rivi” Ayala who had worked for Blanco, had become romantically involved with a secretary in the Florida State Attorney’s Office, causing prosecutors to worry about the credibility of Ayala’s testimony on the stand.
Some speculated that Ayala botched the case on purpose, fearing that he could be killed by members of Blanco’s cartel if he testified.
On September 3, 2012, at age 69, Blanco was murdered in her hometown of Medellin, Colombia. According to reports, two gunmen on motorcycles shot Blanco after she exited a butcher shop.