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Real Griselda Blanco Notorious Pablo Escobar Feared

Griselda Blanco's life was a rise-and-fall story like none other, featuring a rise to power and a tragic end.

Griselda Blanco, not the godmother of fairy tales, but rather a real-life version of the Godfather, with a long list of criminal activities and millions of dollars in her bank account. Netflix's new limited series Griselda introduces viewers to a semi-fictionalized version of Blanco's life, played by Sofia Vergara. The six-episode mini-series delves into the dark and murderous world of one of the most notorious cocaine traffickers in the world.

Blanco, known as La Jefa (The Boss), was a savvy businesswoman and one of the most prominent drug lords the U.S. has ever seen. Her reputation was so renowned that even Pablo Escobar once said the only person he feared was Blanco herself. The showrunner, Eric Newman, described her as a rise-and-fall story like none ever seen before, thrilling, emotional, funny, scary, and tragic. Born in 1943 in Colombia, Blanco was introduced to the criminal lifestyle at a young age, and by the time she was 11, she had already kidnapped, ransomed, and killed a young boy from a wealthy family.

Set during the late 1970s and early '80s, the series follows Blanco as she struggles as a single mother and attempts to start a new life in Miami after fleeing Colombia. The show is bloody and unflinching in the depiction of Blanco's reign, from her forcing people to have sex at gunpoint to creating the "Cocaine Cowboys."

In 1985, Blanco was caught and sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to manufacture, import, and distribute cocaine. She'd also be charged with three counts of murder and receive 20 years for the offenses. She was eventually released and deported back to Colombia in 2004. Her three eldest sons were murdered, and she was eventually killed in 2012 by a motorcycle assassin. At the peak of her career, her fortune was estimated to be a whopping $1.5 billion. The series also emphasizes Blanco's drug use and hints towards her bisexual identity. The Netflix show is a tamer version of what was actually happening in Miami during this time, and it is almost a monster origin story about the makings of a criminal.

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