Things That Matter

11 Things To Know About Griselda Blanco, the ‘Cocaine Godmother’ Sofía Vergara Is Portraying in a Netflix Series

On Wednesday, the first image of Sofía Vergara playing the infamous drug lady Griselda Blanco was released, sending the internet into a tizzy. Gone were the figure-hugging dresses and glamorous makeup, Vergara looked almost completely unrecognizable as the Colombiana cocaine queenpin.

The 49-year-old actress looked grisled and gritty and people were excited to see the usually-comedic actress take such an artistic leap.

Naturally, the emergence of Griselda Blanco back into the spotlight has sparked a renewed interest in the biggest female narco of all time. Who was Griselda Blanco? What was her story?

Here are all the facts you should know about Griselda Blanco before you tune into “Griselda” on Netflix.

1. Blanco started her life of crime at a young age.

In an in-depth investigation into Blanco’s life, Maxim reported that Griselda murdered a wealthy child at the age of 11 after a failed ransom attempt. She was also an avid pickpocket by the time she was 13.

2. She was abused as a child.

It’s not surprising that someone who was allegedly responsible for nearly 200 deaths — and convicted of three — had a traumatic childhood. According to her once boyfriend, American drug dealer Charles Cosby, Blanco ran away from home at the age of 19 after being repeatedly assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend.

3. She started her drug trafficking business in Queens, NY.

Despite having a legacy of being a Colombian narco like Pablo Escobar, Blanco actually started drug dealing in New York City in the 1970s. It was only after the U.S. feds caught on to her in 1975 that she fled back to Colombia, after already having established a successful drug dealing business.

4. Blanco had several nicknames.

Due to her success, her violent methods, and the rarity of being a woman in her line of work, Blanco had several nicknames. People called her everything from La Madrina to the Cocaine Godmother to the Black Widow. Which brings us to our next fact…

5. Griselda Blanco killed all three of her husbands.

Griselda Blanco was married three times and had numerous affairs and lovers. She married her first husband, Carlos Trujillo, in Colombia when she was a teenager. Trujillo was the father of three of Blanco’s children. She divorced him before leaving to the U.S. and later had him killed over a “business dispute.”

She killed her second husband, Alberto Bravo, after confronting him for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from her. The two got into a gun fight, and Blanco emerged as the winner.

Blanco married her third husband, Darío Sepúlveda, in Miami in the ’80s. She paid to have Sepúlveda assassinated after they couldn’t agree over child custody.

6. Blanco was the mother of four children.

Griselda Blanco had four children, all sons. Her first three, Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo, were products of her first marriage. She had her fourth son, Michael Corleone, with her third husband, Darío Sepúlveda. And, yes, she named her son after the famous “Godfather” character.

Tragically, Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo all died by murder. Michael is still alive and describes his mother to the press as a doting, affectionate woman who would cook him breakfast and spoil him with gifts.

7. At the peak of her power, she had a net worth of $2 billion.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Blanco owned hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate and property. In addition, The Guardian reported that, at the height of her power, she was making tens of millions of dollars per month.

8. She collected rare historical artifacts.

With her immense wealth, Griselda Blanco bought rare and expensive items. She allegedly owned a pearl necklace that belonged to Eva Perón and a tea set that belonged to Queen Elizabeth II.

9. She continued to run her cocaine empire from behind bars.

While testifying against Blanco, her ex-boyfriend Charles Cosby revealed that, while she was in prison in the ’90s, she had asked her son Michael to run drugs on her behalf.

10. She was killed in Medellín, Colombia, in 2012 while running errands.

Blanco was leaving a butcher’s shop on September 3, 2012 when a gunman on a motorcycle pulled up, shot her twice, and sped off. She was 69-years-old.

11. Hollywood can’t get enough of her.

Sofía Vergara isn’t the first actress to take on the role of La Madrina. In 2018, Catherine Zeta Jones starred as Blanco in the Lifetime movie, “Cocaine Godmother.” In 2012, Colombian actress Luces Velásquez played a version of Griselda for the Colombian telenovela “Escobar: The Drug Lord.” And as of now, Jennifer Lopez is still set to play her in a self-produced movie titled “The Godmother.”

This article has been updated for clarity.

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com