Griselda Blanco, Godmother of Cocaine, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia

September 4, 2012

It could have been a scene from The Godfather, or Scarface, as Griselda Blanco could have been partly the role model for the lead character in either movie. Two gunmen on motorcycles pulled up as Griselda Blanco walked out of a butcher shop in Medelin, putting two bullets in the head of 69 year-old drug kingpin, Griselda Blanco.

Thought to be responsible for over 200 cocaine-related murders in Dade Country, Florida, Griselda Blanco is largely credited, or discredited, for creating what became known as the “Cocaine Cowboy” period of drug trafficking in South Florida during the 70s and 80s. Her youngest son, born in 1983, is named Michael Corleone Blanco.

Because of a custody dispute with the boy’s father, Dario Sepulveda, ” Blanco paid to have Dario assassinated in Colombia, and had her son returned to her in Miami. According to news reports, “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.” I guess it is really was all about family with Blanco in the end.

It’s claimed she shot her first victim, a child she kidnapped and tried to ransom, when she herself was only 11 years-old.

“It’s surprising to all of us that she had not been killed sooner because she made a lot of enemies,” former Miami homicide detective Nelson Andreu, who investigated her, said late Monday. “When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score.”

The former kingpin was with a pregnant daughter-in-law, who was uninjured. According to El Colombiano, the woman told police that Blanco was no longer involved in organized crime and that she was hoping to live off the sales of several properties she owned.

Blanco came to epitomize the “cocaine cowboy” bloodshed of the 1980s, when rival drug dealers brazenly ambushed rivals in public.

After coming to the United States and building a Cocaine distribution network that brought in over $8 million a month, Blanco was eventually arrested and imprisoned. Allegedly, she continued to oversee her drug network while incarcerated. When charges on several other murders fell apart on technicalities, she was deported back to Columbia in 2004.

Blanco seemed destined for Florida’s Death Row — but the prosecution’s murders case was dealt a severe blow.

The reason: Ayala — the case’s chief witness — engaged in phone sex with secretaries from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. After an investigation, three secretaries were fired and a veteran prosecutor resigned.

When it came to killing, children were not off-limits to Blanco.

Raised in the slums of Medellin, she began her criminal career as a pickpocket, eventually commanding an empire that reportedly shipped 3,400 pounds of cocaine per month, by boat and plane. She was considered a Colombian pioneer in drug smuggling to the United States, a precursor to the larger cartels that dominated in the 1980s. She even had a Medellin lingerie shop custom design bras and girdles with special pockets to hold cocaine, a tool used by her drug mules flying to Miami.

She ran the organization with her three of her four sons, two of whom were later assassinated in Colombia.

Blanco was known for her flamboyant lifestyle — one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, an homage to The Godfather movies. Three of her husbands also died in drug-related violence.

But it was her nasty temper and penchant for unyielding violence that drew the attention of law enforcement and the public.

Investigators linked her to the daytime 1979 submachine gun attack at Dadeland Mall that shocked Miami. Detectives conservatively estimated that she was behind about 40 homicides.

She was only convicted of three murders.

Two of them: Blanco arranged the slayings drug dealers Alfredo and Grizel Lorenzo in their South Miami house, as their three children watched television in another room. They had failed to pay $250,000 for five kilos of cocaine that Blanco had allegedly delivered to them.

She was also convicted of ordering a shooting that resulted in the death of 2-year-old Johnny Castro, shot twice in the head as he drove in a car with his father, Jesus “Chucho” Castro. Blanco was targeting Jesus Castro, a former enforcer for Blanco’s organization.

The HipHop wires are abuzz over the slaying, given later business dealings of her son.

During her time in prison, three of her four sons were murdered.

The fourth, Michael Corleone Jr. started a Hip-Hop label in Miami.

“My mother always took care of the boys and from there me and my brothers were the head honchos of the family and we told everyone else what it was,” Michael Corleone told in 2008.

“It was a good upbringing. Christmas came around and I got my first Porsche at six years old.”

Several Hip-Hop artists co-opted The Godmother’s name and fearsome image, including rappers Lil’ Kim and Jacki-O, who beefed over the moniker.
“We started Hip-Hop in Colombia in the mid 80’s and early 90’s,” Corleone said. “We are the fathers of Hip-Hop [in Columbia].”

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  1. […] Griselda Blanco, Godmother of Cocaine, gunned down. It could have been a scene from The Godfather, or Scarface, as Griselda Blanco could have been partly the role model for the lead character in either movie. Two gunmen on motorcycles pulled up as Griselda Blanco walked out of a butcher shop in Medelin, putting two bullets in the head of 69 year-old drug kingpin, Griselda Blanco. […]