Griselda: How the Colombian drug lord’s only living son turned his life around after 7 assassination attempts

Stephen Nartey January 29, 2024
Michael Corleone Blanco/Photo credit: Gangsters Inc/VH1

The legendary tale of Griselda Blanco, the infamous Colombian drug boss dubbed the Cocaine Godmother or the Black Widow, has come to life in a Netflix biographical series. Sofia Vergara takes on the role of this notorious career criminal.

The Black Widow, who stood at just five feet tall, was involved in pickpocketing and prostitution before becoming one of history’s most profitable drug cartels, according to Daily Mail. Griselda Blanco, introduced to the cocaine trade by her second husband whom she later killed, established a lucrative drug empire that raked in over $80 million monthly.

Her sole surviving offspring, Michael Corleone Blanco, aged 45, shared insights with The Mirror about his upbringing by the notorious criminal and how his life transformed after moving away from the cartel and entering the realms of business, fashion, and reality TV.

“My mother was no saint. She had to survive to do her thing. But at the end of the day, she was my mother. I will forever honor and respect her. I love her,” he said.

He admitted he was deprived of his childhood and lived the perilous life of a teenage capo under the influence of his notorious mother, Griselda. He revealed that being a Blanco came with a sense of nobility, necessitating precautions such as having people in cars surrounding him and carrying a gun under his thigh when driving.

“I was told, you’re a Blanco, part of that nobility. So when you drive, make sure you’ve got people in cars driving around you, driving behind you. And have your gun right under your thigh.”

Aside from this harrowing reality, three of Griselda’s four sons, Osvaldo, Dixon, and Uber, were murdered. Michael was inherently connected to the drug world from birth, as evidenced by his middle name, Corleone, inspired by the mafia family in The Godfather films.

He endured a harrowing childhood marked by seven assassination attempts, including an incident where his drug trafficker father and Griselda’s third husband, Dario Sepulveda, died in his arms during a car ambush.

Griselda, hailing from the slums of Medellin, Colombia, rose to power and ruled a $2 billion drug empire that extended its reach from Colombia to major cities such as Miami, New York, and California. She rose to power in the 1970s drug scene through innovation and ruthless tactics, outshining her contemporaries.

As a queenpin, she maintained control with a gold-plated submachine gun adorned with emeralds, amassing a staggering $80 million monthly. Engaging in a deadly rivalry with Pablo Escobar, it is reported both at some point ordered constant hits on each other. She is believed to have orchestrated around 200 murders.

Griselda became the first female criminal billionaire and instilled terror during Miami’s Cocaine Cowboys drug wars in the ’70s and ’80s. Michael revealed that he had constant armed guards until his mother’s imprisonment for 25 years on drug trafficking charges in the U.S. in 1985.

During Griselda’s incarceration, Michael lived with family and guardians selected by his mother. Griselda’s release after a decade in prison led to her deportation to Colombia, where she was rumored to have retired from a life of crime. However, in 2012, her past caught up with her, and she was fatally shot at the age of 69 while leaving a butcher shop in Medellin.

After the assassination of his mother, Michael decided to exit the world of drug trafficking. Teaming up with his long-time friend and business partner, Michael “Majix” Yuen, he embarked on creating a new empire. Even before his mother’s death, they had initiated efforts to generate legal income through the concept of “cartel culture.”

Currently, Michael is savoring life as a suburban dad with his wife, Marie Ramirez De Arellano, and three children, while successfully managing his business. Michael and his business partner, Michael “Majix” Yuen, have established what they describe as the billionaire cartel lifestyle brand, Pure Blanco.

The brand encompasses fashion, film, music, cannabis, and licensing under the Pure Blanco name. The website primarily sells clothing and accessories, emphasizing a lifestyle brand for individuals who pride themselves as “bosses.”

A collection named “Boss Like Griselda” also pays tribute to Michael’s mother, featuring t-shirts, socks, and hoodies with the slogan.

Beyond fashion, Michael has ventured into the entertainment industry, starring with his partner Marie Ramirez De Arellano in the reality TV show “Cartel Crew” on VH1. The show chronicles the lives of individuals with past connections to drug trafficking.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 29, 2024


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