Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco Restrepo[2] (February 14, 1943 – September 3, 2012), known as the Black Widow, was a Colombian drug lord of the Medellín Cartel, and in the Miami-based cocaine drug trade and underworld, during the 1970s through the early 2000s.[3][4][5] She was shot dead on September 3, 2012, aged 69.[6]

Griselda Blanco
Griselda Blanco Medellin.jpg
Mugshot of Blanco in 1997
Griselda Blanco Restrepo

(1943-02-14)February 14, 1943
DiedSeptember 3, 2012(2012-09-03) (aged 69)
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
Other namesLa Dama de la Mafia (The Lady of the Mafia)
The Godmother
The Black Widow
Spouse(s)Zulma Andino Trujillo
Alberto Bravo
Darío Sepúlveda
Children4 sons
Conspiracy to manufacture, import into the United States, and distribute cocaine ( 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 963)
Second degree murder (3 counts)
Criminal penaltyFederal
15 years imprisonment
20 years imprisonment


Early lifeEdit

Griselda Blanco Restrepo was born in Cartagena on the country's north coast. She and her mother, Ana Blanco,[7] moved to Medellín when she was three years old. Upon arriving there, she adopted a criminal lifestyle. Blanco's former lover, Charles Cosby, recounted that at the age of 11 she allegedly kidnapped, attempted to ransom and eventually shot a child from an upscale flatland neighborhood near her own neighborhood.[1][8][9] Blanco had become a pickpocket before she even turned 13. To escape the sexual assaults of her mother's boyfriend, she ran away from home at the age of 19 and resorted to looting in Medellín until the age of 20.[1][8]

Drug businessEdit

Blanco was a figure in the drug trade from Colombia to Miami, New York and California.

In the mid-1970s, she illegally immigrated to the United States with false passports and settled in Queens, New York. She established a sizable cocaine business there and in April 1975, she was indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges along with 30 of her subordinates. She fled to Colombia before she could be arrested, but returned to the United States and settled in Miami in the late 1980s.[citation needed]

Her return more or less coincided with the beginning of very public violent conflicts that involved hundreds of murders and killings yearly which were associated with the high crime epidemic that swept the City of Miami in the 1980s. The struggle by law enforcement to put an end to 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) anti-drug operation.[10][11]

Blanco was involved in the drug-related violence known as the Miami Drug War or the Cocaine Cowboy Wars that plagued Miami in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was a time when cocaine was trafficked more than cannabis.[12]

The distribution network, which spanned the United States, earned $80 million per month.[1]


On February 17, 1985 Blanco was arrested in her home by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and 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.[13]

While serving her sentence, she was charged with three 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 against her. However, the case collapsed due to technicalities relating to a phone sex scandal between Ayala and two female secretaries who worked in the state attorney’s office.[14] In 1998, Blanco pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, to run concurrently.[15] In 2002, Blanco suffered a heart attack in prison.[16]

In 2004, she was released and deported to Medellín.[1] Before her murder in 2012, she was last seen in May 2007 at Bogotá Airport.[1]


On the night of 3 September 2012, Blanco bought $150 worth of meat at Cardiso butcher shop on the corner of 29th Street in Medellín. She died aged 69 when she was shot in the head and shoulder by a motorcyclist outside the shop.[17][5]

Personal lifeEdit

Blanco's first husband was Carlos Trujillo with whom she had three sons, Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo,[1] all of them poorly educated.

Blanco had her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco, with her third husband, Darío Sepúlveda.[5] Her husband 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 Miami.[18]

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 maternal grandmother and legal guardians."[18] In 2012, Michael was put under house arrest after an arrest in May on two felony counts of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.[19] 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 in the VH1 docuseries Cartel Crew, which follows the descendants of drug lords. He also runs a clothing brand, "Puro Blanco".[20][21][22][23][5]

According to Michael, his mother became a born-again Christian.[24]

Popular cultureEdit

Blanco has been featured in multiple documentaries, series, films, and songs, including several forthcoming projects, including:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Brown, Ethan (July 2008). "Searching for the Godmother of Crime". Maxim. Alpha Media Group: 94–98. 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". 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.
  8. ^ a b Corben, Billy (director); Cosby, Charles (himself); Blanco, Griselda (herself) (July 29, 2008). Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin' with the Godmother (DVD). Magnolia Home Entertainment. ASIN B00180R03Q. UPC 876964001366. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Cosby, Charles. "Charles Cosby: From Early Childhood to Cocaine and Hustlin'". The Blog Union.
  10. ^ Gugliotta, Guy; Leen, Jeff (July 16, 2011). Kings of Cocaine: Inside the Medellín Cartel – An Astonishing True Story of Murder, Money and International Corruption. Garrett County Press. ISBN 9781891053344. Retrieved June 19, 2016 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Griselda Blanco: hasta nunca y gracias por la coca". VICE – España. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Corben, Billy (director); Roberts, Jon (actor); Sunshine, Al (actor); Burstyn, Sam (actor); Munday, Mickey (actor); Palumbo, Bob (actor) (January 23, 2007). Cocaine Cowboys (DVD). Magnolia Home Entertainment. ASIN B000KLQUUS. UPC 876964000635. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  13. ^ "United States v Blanco". Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  14. ^ "Secretaries Suspended Over Phone Sex". AP NEWS. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Incredible Story of Colombia's 'Godmother of Cocaine'". Business Insider.
  17. ^ Robles, Frances; Bargent, James (September 5, 2012). "The life and death of 'cocaine mother' Griselda Blanco". Miami Herald.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Pablo Escobar and Colombian Narcoculture by Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky, 163-164
  21. ^ Swartz, James A. Substance Abuse in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide. p. 193.
  22. ^ Hornberger, Francine. Mistresses of mayhem: the book of female criminals. p. 32.
  23. ^ Morton, James. The Mammoth Book of Gangs.
  24. ^ "'Cocaine Cowboys' Griselda Blanco, Real-Life 'Female Tony Montana', Gunned Down in Colombia". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  25. ^ Evans, Greg (May 18, 2017). "Lifetime Greenlights 'Cocaine Godmother' Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones". Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  26. ^ Brown, Scott (June 6, 2017). "Hollywood North: Catherine Zeta-Jones filming 'Cocaine Godmother' in Vancouver". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  27. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (August 10, 2016). "Jennifer Lopez to Star as Drug Lord Griselda Blanco in HBO Film". Variety. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  28. ^ McNary, Dave (April 17, 2020). "Reed Morano in Talks to Direct Jennifer Lopez Drug Lord Drama 'The Godmother'". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  29. ^ Strause, Jackie; Goldberg, Lesley (November 3, 2021). "Sofia Vergara to Star in 'Griselda' Limited Series at Netflix From 'Narcos' Team". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  30. ^ "Canadian certifications – Pengz, Two Two – Griselda Blanco". Music Canada. Retrieved November 29, 2021.


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