The true story behind female drug baron Griselda as Sofia Vergara brings her staggering crimes to life in new Netflix drama
- Drug baron Griselda Blanco created one of the most profitable cartels in history
- She earned more than $80 million each month by smuggling cocaine into the US
- Authorities also believed the devoted mother was responsible for 200 murders
- Sofia Vergara is now set to bring Griselda’s staggering crimes to life on Netflix
Sofia Vergara is set to bring the staggering crimes of female drug baron Griselda Blanco to life in an upcoming Netflix drama.
The 51-year-old actress will assume the role of the ruthless Colombian businesswoman who created one of the most profitable cartels in history.
The career criminal, who was only five feet tall, was involved with pickpocketing and prostitution from a young age – but it didn’t take long before her crimes began to escalate.
Having been plunged into the cocaine industry by her second husband, who she later killed, Griselda built a thriving drugs empire that saw her earning more than $80 million every month.
Griselda Blanco, who was only five feet tall, was involved with pickpocketing and prostitution from a young age – but it didn’t take long before her crimes began to escalate
Sofia Vergara is set to bring the staggering crimes of the female drug baron to life in an upcoming Netflix drama (pictured)
Netflix is now gearing up to release its six-part drama that will explore ‘ Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family’
She embraced her criminal persona – her nicknames were The Black Widow, The Godmother of Cocaine and The Boss – and was not afraid to flaunt her ill-gotten gains.
But things began to unravel after she was incarcerated as authorities sought to press charges against the devoted mother for more than 200 murders.
Griselda went on to serve 10 years behind bars before being deported back to Colombia where she was shot and killed aged 69 as she stepped out of a butcher’s shop.
Netflix is now gearing up to release its six-part drama that will explore how ‘Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family’.
Ahead of its premiere, FEMAIL has laid bare the gruesome details of her crimes.
Griselda Blanco was forced into pickpocketing and prostitution from a young age before her crimes drastically escalated
Griselda Blanco, who was born in Santa Marta, Colombia, grew up in poverty and the lack of money forced her into a life of crime from an early age.
It was claimed that she got caught up on a path of pickpocketing and prostitution with rumors even circulating that she helped kidnap a small boy when she was just 11 years old.
The tale states that she then took it upon herself to fatally shoot the boy after his wealthy parents refused to pay the ransom.
It was claimed that Griselda got caught up on a path of pickpocketing and prostitution with rumors even circulating that she helped kidnap a small boy when she was just 11 years old
She went on to marry a small-time criminal when she was still a teen and the couple went on to have three children together.
The pair later divorced and she is said to have ordered her ex-husband’s murder in the wake of their split.
But she went on to find love again with drug trafficker Alberto Bravo who soon got her caught up in the cocaine industry.
The couple used New York as their base as they smuggled drugs into the US – and Griselda appeared to have a knack for it.
Griselda had four sons Michael, Osvaldo, Uber and Dixon (pictured together) but was nicknamed the Black Widow
She used every trick in the book to ensure a profitable trade and her methods even included having lingerie made with secret compartments to hide drugs in.
But it was not all plain sailing.
Griselda soon found herself facing drugs charges and so fled to Columbia in 1975 to avoid US authorities.
Later that year, she began to suspect that Bravo was stealing money from her and the pair got caught up in a shoot out that resulted in his death.
Little detail is known about her third husband but he was also reportedly killed by her hand – earning her the Black Widow moniker.
The drugs baron started earning more than $80 million EVERY month – and was not afraid to flaunt it
By the late 1970s, Griselda had moved to back to the US and settled in Miami where she continued trading and became known as The Godmother of Cocaine.
She became increasingly protective of her illicit empire and sought to eliminate any competition by whatever means necessary.
Reflecting on the case in 1993, The Drug Enforcement Administration said: ‘Griselda loved killings. Bodies lined the streets of Miami as a result of her feuds.
‘She gathered around her a group of henchmen known as the Pistoleros. Initiation into the group was earned by killing someone and cutting off a body part as proof of the deed…
‘She not only killed rivals and wayward lovers, but used murder as a means of cancelling debts she didn’t want to pay. A particularly bloody massacre that took place in July 1979 in a Miami shopping center became known as the Dadeland Massacre.’
She also lived up to her persona as she even named her son Michael Corleone – after the crime boss in The Godfather film series with the first installment released in 1972
Griselda Blanco, who was born in Santa Marta, Colombia, grew up in poverty and the lack of money forced her into a life of crime from an early age
And, as a result, the drugs baron is believed to have been responsible for more than 200 deaths – usually carried out in broad daylight by gunmen on motorcycles.
The ruthless violence escalated in the area and plunged the state into an unsettled period coined as the ‘Cocaine Cowboy Wars’.
But all the volatility ultimately worked in Griselda’s favor.
As she continued to remove her competition from the market, she became one of the wealthiest drug traffickers in the world.
She smuggled more than three tons of cocaine into America every year and raked in more than $80 million per month, according to reports.
And the criminal mastermind did not shy away from outwardly splashing the cash, reportedly shelling out on luxury homes and hedonistic parties.
She also brazenly named her son Michael Corleone – after the crime boss in The Godfather film series with the first installment released in 1972.
Griselda’s empire began to crumble before she was shot dead aged 69
Business began to take a downturn after Griselda was found guilty of drugs charges in 1985 and incarcerated.
She received the maximum sentence of 15 years but was still able to run her empire from behind bars.
However, the conviction spurred authorities to attempt to press additional charges against the career criminal – including more than 200 murders.
By 1994, one of her former hitmen – Jorge Ayala – agreed to testify against her and Griselda was charged with three murders.
One of them was that of a two-year-old boy who was fatally shot during a failed assassination attempt of his father – who was one of Griselda’s former enforcers.
Business began to take a downturn after Griselda was found guilty of drugs charges in 1985 and incarcerated
The investigation stalled but the drug baron decided to plead guilty in 1998 in a bid to reduce her sentence.
Following her release after 10 years in prison, she was deported to Colombia where she is said to have ‘retired’ from her life of crime.
But it appeared her past caught up with her and, in 2012, Griselda was shot and killed as she stepped out of a butcher shop in Medellin aged 69.
She still ranks among the most notorious drug lords in history and has been a central figure in documentaries such Cocaine Cowboys (2006) and Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin’ with the Godmother (2008) – as well as film The Cocaine Godmother (2017) starring Catherine Zeta Jones.
Netflix’s Griselda will be released in January 2024.
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