Griselda Blanco Passes Away

When people think of drug dealers, cocaine cowboys, and ruthless gangsters, they tend to think of Scarface-types — Tony Montana stereotypes, Godfather-like wiseguys with pinky rings and Italian silk suits. The last thing people think of is grandmotherly types like Griselda Blanco. Yet, that was also part of her effectiveness: because the so-called ‘cocaine godmother’ looked more like the abuela next door than the ruthless murderers of lore, Blanco was able to rule the Colombian drug cartel with an iron fist — she, in fact, was the first to introduce the concept of assassination-by-motorcycle to Miami in the 1980’s (when the cocaine trade was at an all-time high). Alas, you live by the sword, and you die by the sword. The Huffington Post is reporting that the 69-year-old unlikely gangster — who has been the subject of many documentaries, including ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ — was gunned down in Medellin (the second-largest city in Colombia) yesterday. She had returned to Colombia after a 20-year prison sentence in Florida; after she returned to her homeland, she kept a low profile. In her prime, Blanco ordered hits on over 250 people. It’s fitting — Kafka-esque — almost expected, then, that she would die the same way she lived.