Most people think of drug kingpins, Mexican trafficker Joaquin Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, or El Chapo as he is generally known, is the first one to come to mind.
Well, him and Pablo Escobar, of course.
According to the US Treasury Department, El Chapo was considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
Before El Chapo, however, there was Griselda Blanco – a Colombian ‘queenpin’ who went by various monikers, including the Godmother of Cocaine, the Godmother, and Black Widow.
Jennifer Lopez is set to play Blanco in the upcoming Hollywood biopic, The Godmother, but it won’t be the first film about her.
Cocaine Godmother, a 2018 American biographical crime drama television film directed by Guillermo Navarro and written by David McKenna, stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Blanco:
She was also featured in the documentary Cocaine Cowboys (2006), and served as the central figure in Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin’ with the Godmother (2008).
According to her biography on Britannica, Blanco was born in 1943, and committed her first murder when she was just 11.
She helped to kidnap the son of a wealthy family. When they refused to pay the ransom, she shot the child.
While still a teenager, she married a small-time criminal, who she later divorced and allegedly had killed a few years later.
In the early 1970s she began a relationship with Alberto Bravo, a drug trafficker whom she ultimately married. It was through him that she became involved in the cocaine trade.
When she began to suspect that her husband was stealing money, she shot him. She later remarried and had her third husband killed as well, alongside a number of exotic dancers that she suspected of sleeping with him.
By the late 1970s, she had secured the name, ‘The Godmother of Cocaine’.
Seeking to eliminate her competition, she displayed a brazen ruthlessness that plunged the city into a period of violence that became known as the Cocaine Cowboy Wars. She allegedly ordered numerous murders, many of which were committed by gunmen on motorcycles, a practice she was said to have invented.
In addition, a number of the killings occurred in broad daylight, including a shoot-out at a local mall in 1979. Backed by such violence and a sharp cunning, Blanco became one of the world’s wealthiest drug traffickers.
She is believed to have smuggled more than three tons of cocaine into America a year, raking in some $80 million per month.
Her favourite possessions included a bone-china tea set that once belonged to the Queen, and a less dainty gold-plated, emerald-studded submachine gun.
You can read more about Blanco, here.
She did far too much to fit into a single article – she was terrifying and prolific.
Lopez may direct and produce The Godmother as well, with the release date yet to be announced.
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