Griselda Blanco's Violent Path to Cocaine Queen



Griselda Blanco’s murder has struck a chord throughout the world.

Known most infamously as Colombia’s “queen of Cocaine,” Blanco was a pioneer in the Miami drug trade.

Born in Medellin in 1943, Blanco would grow to become one of the most violent and powerful drug traffickers in the business.

Her violent tendencies began before most girls had hit puberty. Reports of her childhood were detailed in the film Cocaine Cowboys II: Hustling’ With The Godmother by Blanco’s former lover Charles Crosby. In the film Crosby tells of how the queen of Cocaine began her life of crime at the young age of 11– shooting and holding a neighbor’s child for ransom.

In a profile story for Maxim magazine, more details are given as Blanco’s life of crime escalated to a career in prostitution at the age of 14. Marrying a street hustler who specialized in creating false immigration documents and smuggling undocumented immigrants into the United States, Blanco cemented her violent future even further at age 20.

While her first marriage did not last, her life of crime continued on. It was her second husband, Albert Bravo, with whom Blanco built her cocaine empire. Moving operations from New York to Miami following a narrow escape from federal drug charges, Blanco became an instrumental figure of the Cocaine Wars of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Unafraid to use violence to communicate with her competitors in Miami, frequent attempts were taken on her life. Fearing for her safety Blanco fled to California where she was eventually put behind bars in 1985. While incarnated, Blanco still called the shots of the drug empire and even evaded further charges when prosecutors lacked evidence to keep Blanco locked up. Officially tied to at least three murders, including hiring a hit on her first husband, some believe the actual number to be in the hundreds.

As the U.S. was no longer able to keep Blanco in prison, she was deported to Colombia in 2004. For her own safety, Blanco remained under the radar and was only seen out in public in Bogota in 2007 until the day she was murdered.

With such a storied past it comes as no surprise that reports have surfaced that, according to The Miami Herald, "at least three feature films and an HBO series featuring Blanco were in the works at the time of her death."

Like those that worked for her, Hollywood is hoping to tap into Blanco’s ability to mesmerize those around her.

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