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The True Story Of Drug Lord Griselda Blanco


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  • Griselda Blanco’s tragic upbringing and lack of guidance explain her rise as one of the most feared drug queenpins, as depicted in the Netflix crime drama.
  • The miniseries explores Griselda’s reign of power in the United States and her role in establishing powerful drug enterprises, contributing to the Miami Drug War.
  • Griselda’s declining health led to her eventual release from prison, but her past caught up with her as she was assassinated in 2012, reflecting the karmic consequences of her actions.



Griselda is an upcoming crime drama that sees Sofía Vergara in the titular role of Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco Restrepo as it tells her true story of a rise from a life of poverty in Colombia to her tragic downfall in Miami, Florida. As she’s primarily for her work on the hit comedy series, Modern Family, Griselda is Vergara’s first TV project since Modern Family, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to see her display her range. As with most projects based on real-life people, Griselda will no doubt dramatize events to make for more compelling TV.

Despite the excellent trailer, Griselda Blanco’s real life was filled with tragedy and violence, partly explaining how she became one of the most feared individuals in the drug trade. In addition to Vergara being nearly unrecognizable as Griselda, the trailer offers glimpses of Vergara’s Griselda being just as violent, if not more violent, than her male counterparts, furthering the idea that the upcoming drama really can be among one of the best crime shows on Netflix. In spite of Griselda’s ruthless reputation, the true story of Griselda Blanco is very tumultuous and even sad in many respects.


Modern Family Star Transforms Into A Violent Drug Lord In The Griselda Trailer

Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara is transformed into a violent cartel leader in the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming crime series Griselda.

How Griselda Blanco Became A Colombian Drug Lord

Griselda’s rough upbringing constantly put her in contact with notorious drug dealers.

Griselda Blanco’s upbringing was rife with poverty, a lack of proper guidance, violence, and a perversion of morals due to a brutally unforgiving environment. While these factors don’t excuse the life that Griselda chose, they offer audiences some sense of how and why she would eventually develop a reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous drug queenpins. Born in Cartagena, Colombia in 1943, Griselda and her mother moved to Medellín when she was three, a part of Colombia notorious for its criminal activity, which became the genesis of Griselda’s life of crime.

Without her father in her life to support the family, Griselda turned to older male drug dealers in the neighborhood for guidance, and eventually started down a path of drug dealing to support herself. Given Griselda’s gender, young age, and small stature, she slowly cultivated a ruthless and intimidating personality as a way to contend with, and even exceed, the typically grown men in her environment, making way for her swift rise to power. Now in her early twenties, Griselda had three children and plenty of rivals in Colombia, prompting her move to America.

Griselda Blanco’s Time In New York Explained (& Why She Fled To Colombia)

Griselda illegally immigrated to New York City to expand her business before fleeing back to Colombia to avoid prosecution.

Sofía Vergara as Griselda Blanco in Griselda.

While it is imperative that Griselda spends time setting up Griselda’s origins in the drug trade in Colombia, it is perhaps more important that the miniseries also delves deeper into her reign of power in the United States as she played a crucial role in establishing many powerful drug enterprises, the effects of which are still felt throughout the nation to this day. After fleeing from Colombia in 1964, Griselda used fake identification papers to establish herself in Queens, New York with her three kids, and swiftly became acquainted with how drug dealing works in the United States.

Although she and a few close associates from Colombia set up a quickly thriving cocaine business, she was eventually indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges, forcing her to flee back to Colombia – where many of her former rivals were still alive and well – to avoid prosecution and imprisonment. After reestablishing herself in her home country, Griselda eventually accrued enough money, resources, and connections in Miami, Florida to once again enter the United States, this time with a more foolproof plan to become one of the most notorious and successful drug traders in history.

How Griselda Blanco Played A Major Role In The Miami Drug War

Griselda was one of the most prominent drug traders along with Pablo Escobar during the late 1970s to mid-1980s.

Arguably Griselda’s most notable feat as a drug trader was the instrumental role she played in the Miami Drug War – a distribution network that was more profitable than the illegal trade of cannabis that saw its beneficiaries bringing in $80 million a month. Started by the Medellín Cartel that was founded and led by Pablo Escobar, the Miami Drug War saw various Colombian cartels engage in violent conflicts with various forms of United States government and even military personnel throughout the mid to late 1970s in Miami to maintain the trade of cocaine throughout the country.

As the Miami Drug War intensified, drug traders such as Griselda, Mickey Munday, and Jon Roberts assisted Escobar with smuggling cocaine into the country via fake shipments of produce and other various goods & services via air and sea transport, contributing to seventy percent of the cocaine, marijuana, and Quaaludes entering into the country on a near daily basis. Although Griselda centers on the titular drug trader’s instrumental role in the Miami Drug War, it’s also important that the show depicts the connections she had with Escobar and how Griselda’s growing rivalries contributed to her arrest.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sofia Vergara

Known for Modern Family’s Gloria, Sofia Vergara has had an incredible career. Here are some fascinating lesser-known facts about the actress.

Griselda Blanco’s DEA Arrest, Conviction & Release Explained

Griselda was eventually released from prison due to her declining health.

Sofía Vergara as Griselda Blanco holds a cigarette in a promo still for Griselda.

Given the ruthless nature of organized crime, many of its players often face issues ranging from constant stress, paranoia, violence, and increased interest from various law enforcement agents. In the case of Griselda, she’d accrued just as many enemies in the drug trade industry as she had in law enforcement, leading to members of rival gangs and even her own outfits willing to do whatever was necessary to avoid serving any prison time. As such, the DEA increased its surveillance efforts regarding Griselda’s daily routine and arrested her in Irvine, California in 1985.

Griselda was found guilty of various drug-related charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison. While incarcerated, her former top enforcer, Jorge “Rivi” Ayala, agreed to testify against her to reduce his own pending sentence. However, after technicalities relating to Rivi and a phone sex scandal with members of the state attorney’s office, the case fell apart, and Griselda was left to serve out her sentence. As a lifelong smoker, Griselda’s health declined while incarcerated, and after suffering a heart attack in 2002, Griselda was eventually released in 2004 and deported to Medellín due to her declining health.

Griselda Blanco’s Assassination: Who Killed The Godmother Of Cocaine & Why

Griselda was gunned down in 2012 by an unnamed gunman while leaving a butcher shop.

Shortly after her 2004 release from prison, Griselda turned over a new leaf, becoming a born-again-Christian, and devoting much of the remainder of her life to using her resources to improve Medellín’s condition. However, Griselda still had plenty of rivals from her former life out for revenge for the things that she’d either done to them directly or their loved ones. Griselda lived out the remainder of her life looking over her shoulder in fear of an assassination attempt. Despite her best efforts, her untimely demise would come more suddenly than expected.

In 2012, a now 69-year-old Griselda accompanied her pregnant daughter-in-law to the Cardiso butchery in Medellín when an assassin on a motorcycle shot Griselda twice as she exited the establishment in front of her stepdaughter and scores of citizens. Although tragic, Griselda’s death was karmic considering she pioneered the motorcycle drive-by method of carrying out hits – that is, killing someone on a drug leader’s behalf, in front of a loved one. With six episodes, Griselda is sure to depict her impactful rise through the drug trade as well as her sudden demise in a memorable way.

All six episodes of Griselda will premiere on Netflix on January 25, 2024.


Release Date
January 25, 2024

Alberto Ammann , Paulina Davila , Alberto Guerra , Martin Rodriguez , Sofia Vergara , Diego Trujillo , Juliana Aidén Martinez , Christian Tappan , Gabriel Sloyer , Vanessa Ferlito , José Zúñiga

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