Griselda Blanco, known as the “Black Widow,” was a notorious Colombian drug lord whose empire flooded Miami with cocaine and was responsible for an estimated 200 murders. Her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco, grew up in the midst of her drug-trafficking operations, experiencing a life of luxury and danger. Despite her criminal activities, Blanco maintains a complex love for his mother.
Blanco’s drug empire generated a staggering $80 million per month nationally, with his older brothers driving luxury sports cars and the family owning palatial homes and a private jet. However, their extravagant lifestyle came to an end when Blanco’s mother was arrested in 1985 for cocaine trafficking. Despite her criminal actions, Blanco still loves his mother and acknowledges the conflicting nature of her legacy.
The story of Griselda Blanco’s reign of terror in the 1970s and 1980s is now the subject of a Netflix miniseries called “Griselda,” starring Sofía Vergara as the ruthless queenpin. The show depicts Blanco’s arrival in Miami with her three sons and her ambition to establish a thriving cocaine-trafficking network. It showcases the drug wars and clashes with cartel bosses and law enforcement that made national headlines during that era.
Michael Corleone Blanco, who has appeared in various documentaries and TV movies about his mother’s life, filed a lawsuit against Netflix, Vergara, and the producers of “Griselda,” claiming that they stole his private artistic work. The lawsuit was later dismissed. Blanco had initially criticized the series for transforming Vergara’s appearance to resemble his mother, but he now admires her portrayal and respects her decision to take on the role.
Griselda Blanco’s violent reputation as a stone-cold killer is supported by former law enforcement officials and authors who have studied her life. She was involved in numerous murders and was known for her brutal methods, including the creation of the “motorcycle assassin.” Blanco’s criminal activities and the Medellín Cartel’s operations in South Florida contributed to the city’s reputation as the cocaine capital of the United States.
Blanco’s criminal empire came to an end when she was convicted of drug trafficking and three murders. After serving close to two decades in prison, she was deported to Colombia in 2004. In 2012, she was assassinated in a manner reminiscent of her own signature style.
Michael Corleone Blanco, the only surviving son, has experienced immense loss due to the drug wars, losing 22 family members. Raised by legal guardians while his mother and brothers were incarcerated, Blanco has since been working on documenting his and his mother’s life, with plans to publish a book and develop a Spanish soap opera.