Episode 18: The Godmother: Griselda Blanco


At the end of the 1970s, body after dead body began appearing on the streets and sidewalks and parking lots of Miami. Many of those bodies were linked to the Colombian cocaine trade, which was in turn linked to one incredibly powerful woman with a love of gangster movies and a penchant for drive-by shootings. Meet Griselda Blanco: the Black Widow, La Madrina, the Godmother of Cocaine.

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“The Godmother” by Richard Smitten, South Florida Sun Sentinel, 19 Feb 1989

“Michael Corleone Blanco Lives in the Shadow of his Cocaine-Queen Mother,” Miami New Times, 13 Oct 2011

“The Hunt For The ‘Cocaine Godmother,’” CBS Miami, 27 Sept 2012

United States of America, Appellee, v. Griselda Blanco, Defendant-appellant, 861 F.2d 773 (2d Cir. 1988)

“Secretaries Suspended Over Phone Sex,” AP News, 24 Feb 1998

“After 25 years in prison, Cocaine Cowboys hitman wants reduced sentence,” Miami Herald, 29 April 2013

“Griselda Blanco: Escaping The Electric Chair,” CBS4 Miami, 20 No 2012

“Asesinada de dos balazos en Colombia ‘La reina de la coca’, una leyenda del crimen,” El País, 4 Sept 2012

“Colombia’s ‘cocaine queen’ living in obscurity when she was shot dead,” El País, 13 Sept 2012

“’Godmother’ gunned down,” Leader-Telegram, 5 Sept 2012

“Pérez-Reverte's ‘La Reina del Sur’ or Female Aggression in ‘Narcocultura,’” Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky, Hispanic Journal Vol. 30 No. ½

“Female Drug Smugglers on the U-S.-Mexico Border: Gender, Crime, and Empowerment,” Howard Campbell, Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 81 No. 1

“Immigration Officials to Deport ‘Godmother,’” The Tampa Tribune, 7 June 2004

Cocaine Cowboys (documentary), 2006

Cocaine Cowboys 2 (documentary), 2008


“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Hijack the Magik ft. Nitty Scott,” by The Polish Ambassador, licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License and used with permission.

Tori Telfer