YouTuber David Dobrik decided to surprise his friend’s mother with a very special meeting with Jennifer Lopez. Now, it wasn’t as straightforward as getting his friend’s mom to a place with no knowledge and all of a sudden Lopez is there. Lopez was also unaware that she was going to be surprising someone’s mom. Instead of just coming right out with the plan, the prankster created game. Lope had to reach into a box blind to touch what was in the box and guess what was there. First were bananas then spaghetti and it all seems pretty innocent. Dobrik even teased Lopez and scared her when she would touch things.
Then came the real game. His friend mother sat under the table and her the top of her head poke up into the bottom of the box. Lopez started to feel around but freaked out when she realized it had hair. She even joked about how whatever it was was dead and Dobrik went along claiming it has been through a lot.
Lopez was shocked when she was told it was his friend’s mom. Then they finally met and the mom went into full mother mode and started complimenting Lopez on her relationship with Alex Rodriguez. She really sat there and complimented her over and over until Lopez was near tears. It was low key a pretty magical moment.
The insidious disease of alcoholism and drug addiction is indiscriminate in its victims. Univision’s Genela Solano recently found Susy Pérez, a former dancer for J.Lo and model, living on the street fighting for her life against a heroin addiction. Solano interviews Pérez in what might be the most heart-breaking news’ interview broadcast ever–ending with Pérez sending a message to her son, who she hasn’t seen in years.
That is until Solano returns with Pérez’ son, who she hasn’t seen since she first became homeless.
Susy Pérez came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, and made it big in the entertainment world.
The mitad-Boricua and mitad-Dominicana was a model and a dancer for J.Lo. Up until a week ago, she had spent the last five years homeless living on the streets. She told Univision that when her mother died, she was lost without her. That prompted the spiral downwards.
Pérez has survived off the trash of others and the kindness of strangers.
She told Univision that she’s grateful for the people who have bestowed compassion on her and offered her money or food. Her son has also said that he was giving her money the first couple years she was homeless, not realizing she was a heroin addict and using the money for drugs.
Pérez is a breast cancer survivor, and hasn’t been to the doctor in years.
Both her and her abuela were breast cancer survivors and endured double mastectomies. “She may still have it. It may have come back, because cancer never really leaves,” her son tells Univision.
“Jay, I love you and want you to know you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she tells the camera, hoping her son will receive the message.
“Without you, I cannot smile,” she says. She tells Univision that she wants to get off the drugs but that she can’t because her body has adapted to them. It’s important for people with addiction to have medical supervision as they detox because their bodies could go into shock and die from cardiac arrest.
Three days later, Solano returns with Jay to reunite the mother and son.
“My love, look over here,” Solano tells Pérez. When she sees Jay from a distance, she tosses her wig on the ground and runs to hug him. She doesn’t let go for several minutes, sobbing into his shoulder. Later, she shouts at the crowd gathered around for the touching moment, “I’m going to fight for my son.”
Jay tells Solano that after his mom left, his father kicked him out of the house for being gay.
He started living with friends at a young age and was adopted by another family. According to Jay, in his father’s mind, his sexuality was “the last straw” after coping with his mother’s addiction and abandonment. Jay tells Solano that most of his family doesn’t support him. “I haven’t felt safe. He would constantly verbally abuse me because of the way I expressed myself,” Jay tells Solano.
He told Univision that his mom has a herniated disc, broken bones, and has likely contracted HIV or AIDS.
A car was ready to take Solano to get food, medications, a doctor’s check up and fresh clothes and a shower. According to Solano, they attempted to take her from streets and into the car not once, twice, or three times, but six times before she got in the car. She was very happy to get a fresh haircut but didn’t want to check into a treatment center.
They weren’t able to remove Pérez from the streets.
Univision / YouTube
After experiencing what looked like withdrawal symptoms (irritability, aggression, crying), Pérez stormed off looking for money to buy more drugs. Nearly everyone who has seen the video has offered their prayers that she findS the strength to voluntarily get the help that she needs.
If someone’s drinking or sobriety is bothering you, there are resources that can help. You are not alone.
The Medellin Cartel dominated the global trade of cocaine for a good part of the 1980s. Besides its influence in shaping the drug cartels as we know them today, the Colombian traffickers have had an enormous impact on the cultural, political and social lives of Latin America. Sure, when he hear “Medellin Cartel” we immediately think of Pablo Escobar (and even more so since Netflix released its highly acclaimed show Narcos). However, there is another figure of mythical qualities that has come out of cartel lore: Griselda Blanco, The Godmother. Equally vilified and revered, Blanco’s story has recently caught the attention of Hollywood and shows about her rapid rise in the echelons of criminality has attracted stares of the caliber of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jennifer Lopez.
This is what you need to know about Blanco:
1. Griselda Blanco Restrepo was born in Cartagena, Colombia
Credit: Instagram. @eyecandibaby
She was born on February 15, 1943. She and her mom moved to Medellin when Griselda was just three-years-old. Griselda survived in the streets by being a pickpocket and allegedly even by kidnapping other children when she was as young as 13. She left home when she was 16. Biographers claim that her mother’s boyfriend tried to sexually abuse her, so she left the household.
2. She is a pop culture icon
Credit: Instagram. @honkeykonger
She is an icon of rap culture. The Game, Pusha, and Jacki-O have all dedicated lyrics to her. Lil Kim created the alter ego Kimmy Blanco as a tribute. Nicki Minaj sings: “Drug lord, Griselda/ I used to move weight through Delta”.
Some people carry her around everywhere they go. Literally.
Credit: Instagram. @kiko_tatoos
Just look at this hyperrealistic tat!
And she has inspired some pretty out there nail styles!
Credit: Instagram. @nailsyulieg
Blanco’s fandom reaches the US: this nails were styled by Yulie G., a nail technician working in Ontario, California.
3. At her height, she was one of the richest women in the world
Credit: Instagram. @michaelcorleoneblanco
She was a billionaire who made her fortune during the Miami Drug War in the late 1970s. Her network of operations reached from Florida to California, and brought in $80 million dollars per month! There were various attempts on her life when she lived in Florida, so she moved to California.
4. She named her son after the Corleone family from The Godfather movie trilogy
Credit: Instagram. @michaelcorleoneblanco
Yes: Michael Corleone Blanco. He has a clothesline and is a social media influencer, where he openly discusses having grown up in the world of global narcotics trafficking. Griselda went to prison in 1985, but she continued to run her business with the help of her son Michael. Griselda was released in 2004 and deported to Medellin.
5. By the way: Michael Corleone Blanco is also a reality TV star
Credit: Instagram. @michaelcorleoneblanco
Yes, he stars in Cartel Crew, a new VH1 reality show in which he comes to terms with the thug life he has known since he was a little kid growing up in Miami, where his mom controlled a millionaire flow of cocaine to the United States.
6. Michael’s show, Cartel Crew, has been VERY controversial
Credit: Instagram. @
But Blanco defends the show, saying: “We are not trying to glorify anything. We’re just trying to move on with our lives and make our own means in a legitimate way. … We’re not showing the past, we’re showing the present and the future.” Ver para creer, mijo!
7. She has been played on the screen by Catherine Zeta-Jones
Credit: Instagram. @lifetimetv
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who had already played a dealer in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, played Griselda Blanco in a Lifetime movie. She said about the character: “It was so liberating. I didn’t want to play a caricature of her and do like a Mrs. Doubtfire’s fat suit. I wanted to play her from the inside out. Her attitude was much more than whether I didn’t wear mascara or lipstick. She had a power and a strength of character that of all the things that I do not relate to, I do relate to that. I do admire that in her. It was, where are the cracks in her? I don’t want to make every one like her. I don’t like her”. Damn, that’s deep, eh!
8. And Mexican starlet Ana Serradilla
Credit: Instagram. @teamserradillard
Serradilla is the lead actress in the Televisa-Univision coproduction La viuda negra, which is an adaptation of the book La patrona de Pablo Escobar, written by José Guarnizo. The series had two seasons that ran from 2014 until 2016.
9. And Jennifer Lopez is starring, and possibly directing, in a new movie
Credit: Instagram. @bossipofficial
J-Lo told Variety: “I’ve been forever fascinated by the story of Griselda Blanco and jumped at the chance to play her on-screen. She is all things we look for in storytelling and dynamic characters — notorious, ambitious, conniving, chilling. In a genre dominated by legendary kingpins, I’m eager to shine a spotlight on this anti-hero and excited to partner with STX for the third time so we can bring this compelling, complicated story to life.”
10. Her life is the stuff of underworld legends
Credit: Instagram. @ceritadanmitos
She was one of the most creative smugglers in the height of the Colombian trade. As El Pais recalls: “Griselda began her cocaine business at a time when Escobar was just an apprentice smuggler. In the Antioquia neighborhood they say that there was a very famous shoemaker called Toño, who the godmother once instructed: “Toño, I need you to take these shoes and this powder in the heels. And afterwards, I need you to do the same with my husband’s shoes.”
11. Griselda Blanco was also known as “The Black Widow”
Credit: Instagram. @befaoner1
Blanco’s romantic partners suffered terrible fates. People reports: “Generally, things didn’t turn out well for Blanco’s paramours. She supposedly murdered her first lover as a teenager and had her first husband, Carlos Trujillo, killed a few years after divorcing him. She shot her second husband, Alberto Bravo – who was instrumental as a partner in her rise to power – herself, in the parking lot of a Bogota nightclub. Another husband, Dario Sepulveda, was killed in 1983”. These events led her to be called “Black Widow”, a species of spider famous for their mating habits. As LiveScience explains: ” black widows get their name because females carry out sexual cannibalism after mating. The female often kills and eats the male, which explains the males’ short lifespans”
12. Some women feel inspired by her story: they see her as a strong woman, a female Robin Hood
Credit: Instagram. @eyecandibaby
Some Latino women see a role model in Blanco: there is no denying that sexism permeates the lives of many Latinas. Blanco fended for herself and had it all: money, power and a family.
13. This 1997 mugshot is one of the most famous in history
Credit: Instagram. @themobmuseum
Just like the Pablo Escobar and the Al Capone mugshots, this image of Griselda will go down in the annals of mob history.
14. But things are not always black and white: like Pablo Escobar, Griselda Blanco is remembered in a shade of gray
Credit: Instagram. @la_vida_es_mi_maestro_1967
Drug lords are vilified by the media and by governments but are sometimes loved by people. This is due to the charity work that they do in some vulnerable communities and by what they represent” rags-to-riches stories that make some people believe that anything is possible. Of course, this brings many ethical questions: does the end justify the means? Is the blood of hundreds worth it?
And some people visit her grave
Credit: Instagram. @deckermen7
It is a sort of pilgrimage for some Colombians who admire the fact that she reached the top in a tough and merciless business. As reported by the Spanish newspaper El Pais upon her dead: “Two days later her body was placed in a casket decorated in golden Arabesque designs. She was buried in the Jardines de Montesacro cemetery – the same resting place as that of Pablo Escobar. Two buses filled with neighborhood kids from Antioquia – the suburb in which Griselda worked as a prostitute and drug dealer, and won a reputation as a husband killer but also where she passed around gifts to needy children at Christmas – came to pay their respects”.
15. She was murdered aged 69 in Medellin
Credit: Instagram. @ogabel
Griselda met her fate on the night of September 3, 2012. She received two bullets fired from a motorcycle. She was buying meat at the butcher’s when a man walked towards her, shot her twice in the head and left.
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