Earlier today, a motorcycle-riding assassin pumped two bullets into the head of Griselda Blanco inside a Medellin, Colombia, butcher shop; ending the life of the queen of Miami's violent Cocaine Cowboys era. It was a bloody cinematic ending for the 69-year-old retired cocaine trafficker who was insatiably fond of the gangster epic The Godfather -- going as far as naming her youngest son Michael Corleone.
Longtime Blanco family friend Cristian Rios confirmed reports by Colombian news outlets that Blanco died from her wounds after she was transported to a nearby hospital. "It's hard to comprehend right now," he says. "I'm hoping the reprisals end here."
Two of her four sons were murdered while she was incarcerated in the 1980s and 1990s. She is survived by Michael, a 34-year-old Colombian American who is under house arrest in Miami while waiting for his trial on a cocaine trafficking charge from last year. "Michael is just beside himself," Rios says. "No matter what people think of Griselda, she was still his mom."
According to the newspaper El Colombiano, a pair of suspects riding a motorcycle stopped at the open-air butcher shop, located in the Medellin neighborhood of Belen Parque. An unknown man riding on the back of the bike got off and walked toward Blanco. He fired two shots at her head from close range.
The report states Blanco had been in the shop for about 30 minutes with a pregnant ex-daughter-in-law who was not identified. Whoever was behind the hit may have wanted to send an ironic final message since Blanco is the reputed originator of motorcycle assassinations.
Known as la madrina, or the Godmother, Blanco was a pioneer in the coke trafficking industry during the 1970s and early 1980s. According to law enforcement, she oversaw a billion-dollar criminal organization that transported 3,400 pounds of perico a month into the United States. She revolutionized smuggling by developing her own line of underwear with secret compartments to stuff drugs into. Blanco solidified her place in Colombian cartel lore as the mentor to Pablo Escobar.