Griselda Blanco

By Margolis, Mac | Newsweek International, September 17, 2012 | Go to article overview

Griselda Blanco


Margolis, Mac, Newsweek International


Byline: Mac Margolis

The 'cocaine godmother' meets a sudden, grisly end.

Frumpy and short, with a double-barreled chin, she could have passed for the grandmother next door. But no one called Griselda Blanco a golden-ager. The 69-year-old Colombian made her name notching up felonies from drugrunning to multiple murders. Drive-by shootings were her calling card. On the way up, the "Godmother" also made enemies and apparently one of them caught up with her last week in Medellin. Blanco was out running errands in her hometown, shopping at a neighborhood butcher shop, when a man on a motorcycle pulled up and shot her twice in the head with a large gun before speeding away. Blanco's pregnant ex-daughter-in-law, who saw the whole thing, placed a Bible on Blanco's chest as she bled to death. The $165 of meat she'd just purchased fell on the pavement.

Blanco's end was as blunt and dramatic as her career in crime had been. A rare matriarch in the macho world of Latin narcotrafico, she was already a seasoned drug dealer in the mid-1970s when Pablo Escobar was still boosting cars in Medellin. She rose from teenage pickpocket to sometime hustler to "Madrina de la coca" (cocaine godmother) when the Colombian drug trade was beginning to go global. Standing just over five feet tall, a bit more in her power bouffant, she could be as ruthless as any cocaine capo. She outlived three husbands, all of whom perished in drug deals gone bad, and is famed to have dispatched one of them herself, drawing a pistol from her boot in a business quarrel. Hence the nickname Black Widow. …

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