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Griselda Blanco: the true story of the drug trafficker played by Sofía Vergara

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Griselda Blanco: the true story of the drug trafficker played by Sofía Vergara

Griselda, the new Netflix series starring Sofía Vergara, shows a dreamy and brave woman, an entrepreneur (and a very good salesperson) who built an international empire despite having everything against her. However, the testimonies of her former allies and victims paint a different portrait, a phenomenon similar to that seen in Narcos and other productions that tell the story of infamous bosses who have left a devastating trail of blood in their wake.

The streaming platform has been forceful in explaining that its intention is not to romanticize the story, but rather seeks to investigate the complexity of the character. To do so, the writers have taken some creative liberties as they breaking latest news the rise and fall of one of the most powerful women in organized crime.

The beginning

The Netflix series briefly mentions Griselda’s past as a sex worker, but does not delve into how her criminal career took off in Leuven, the decadent neighborhood of Medellín that used to be the meeting point for bohemians and intellectuals of the time. There she met her second husband, Alberto Bravo. According to the book The Black Widow, by journalist Martha Soto, he had told her that he was dedicated to smuggling alcohol, perfumes, lingerie and other fine products, but once the woman gained his trust, he confessed that he also sold illicit substances and became partners.

The couple bought pure cocaine from two nurses who worked at a prestigious clinic in the city and then were in charge of transporting it to New York, hiding the powder in their underwear. What began as a retail business quickly evolved into a global operation. The criminal life was not something new for Griselda. She was born in Cartagena de Indias in 1943 – although in a recent interview one of her children has said that she was actually born in Santa Marta – since her adolescence she belonged to a criminal group that was dedicated to carrying out robberies in the houses of rich families. In an undocumented incident, but mentioned by sources familiar with the history of drug trafficking in Colombia such as Soto, at the age of 12 Griselda would have murdered a child who had been kidnapped by the gang to demand money from her family.

Blanco began to have problems with Bravo when his organization began to grow. He preferred to keep a low profile, while Griselda liked luxuries. Additionally, she suspected that her partner was stealing some of the money they earned, so she summoned him to clarify the situation. After a brief exchange of words, both opened fire and Bravo was killed.

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RECEIVE ITOn the left, Sofía Vergara in a scene from the series, and on the right, Griselda Blanco after being arrested in Miami in 1997.Netflix / Metro Dade Police Department

The queen of cocaine

Contrary to what the Netflix version says, Griselda Blanco had been identified by US authorities several years before her arrest. In 1974 the Operation Banshee, in New York, to capture her, but the woman managed to flee to Colombia. There she hid for years until she finally settled in Miami, where she cemented her position as The Cocaine Queen.

Although the version of Griselda played by Sofía Vergara shows an almost compassionate side, in which Blanco only ordered the kill in self-defense, it is one more case in which reality surpasses fiction. Some of the drug trafficker’s henchmen testified that she was extremely cruel and that she went after her enemies and lovers alike. Although some affectionately referred to her as The Godmother for her favors and extravagant gifts, she also gained notoriety for the devastation she left in her wake in the final years she lived in Miami. Griselda is credited with the modus operandi of the motorized hitmen, she was responsible for the massacre in the Dadeland shopping center and, in an interview with the Police, Jorge Ayala (who is nicknamed Rivi in ​​the series) assured that Griselda “was happy” when he learned of the death of the little son of his former ally, Jesús Chucho Castro. Although officials believe she ordered more than 200 murders, she was only tried for three cases.

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A criminal inheritance

After Griselda was arrested in 1985, her older children came under police scrutiny; Dixon and Osvaldo served sentences in a US prison for minor crimes, and when they were granted parole, they returned to Colombia with their brother Uber to recover the family business. The first two died in attacks related to their criminal activities, while the third was lost decades ago. Some believe that he is still hiding in Medellín.

Her other son, Michael Corleone Blanco, whose name is a tribute to The Godfather, spent time in Colombia with his father Darío Sepúlveda, but eventually ended up involved in his mother’s business and was also captured in the United States. The youngest of Griselda’s children recently sued Netflix for the unauthorized use of the woman’s image. “I am aware that my mother was not a saint, but in my mind and in my heart I cannot hate her like many hate her, because at the end of the day she was my mother, my best friend,” Michael explained in recent statements. At this point he is almost certain that Griselda, also nicknamed The Black Widow, gave the order for Sepúlveda to be killed due to differences over the custody of her son.

Griselda Blanco died after living free for eight years in Colombia, having already served her sentence in the United States. Her end was similar to that of many of her victims, in 2012, at 69 years of age, in Medellín: she was murdered by a hitman on a motorcycle.

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