Narcos: Who was drug lord Griselda Blanco? Will she feature in new series?

Narcos is a crime drama series on Netflix which is based on the rise and fall of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became rich through the production and distribution of cocaine. The series follows his communication with other famous drug lords, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), until his fall at the end of the second season. The third series continues to follow the DEA as they attempt to shut down the rising Cali Cartel, and a number of new drug lords are introduced.

Who was Griselda Blanco?

Griselda Blanco Restrepo was known as the Black Widow, the Cocaine Godmother and the Queen of Narco-Trafficking during her heyday as a Colombian drug lord.

She was part of the Medellin Cartel and help create cocaine trade in Miami during the 1980s, up until the early 2000s.

Blanco was born in Colombia and moved to Medellin as a young child, where she quickly fell into a culture of crime by pick-pocketing.

During her days as a drug trafficker, she was involved in the Miami Drug War during the early 1980s, and this was a time when cocaine was more popular than marijuana.

She was arrested in 1985 by DEA agents who came to her home, and she was sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.

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Blanco was killed in Medellin in 2012, at the age of 69, after being shot by a gunman as she was leaving a butcher’s shop.

A BBC report at the time said: “Blanco was one of the first Colombians to smuggle cocaine from Colombia to the United States on a large scale in the 1970s and 80s.

“She established many of the smuggling routes taken over by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking.

“With a reputation for ruthlessness, Blanco is suspected of having ordered the killing of dozens of her rivals to get to the top of her business.”

She spent almost 20 years in an American jail before being deported to Colombia in 2004, and her family said by this point she had “cut her ties to organised crime”.

Although there are many prominent female leads in the Narcos series, and its spin-off, Narcos: Mexico, Blanco does not actually feature as a character.

Fans have already picked up on the fact she has no part to play in the series, with holacultura.com saying there was a “lack of sophisticated female characters”.

The website said: “Take for example, Griselda Blanco, dubbed The Godmother of Cocaine, a real woman who was involved in the Medellín Cartel as a drug trafficker and assassin.

“Her story correlates closely to that of Escobar, so where is she in Narcos? Instead, Narcos almost exclusively focuses on the male perspective and relationships with violence and other men.”

The series does include Cristina Umaña as Judy Moncada – a former leader in the Medellín cartel, as one of the main characters.

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Fans have also taken to Reddit to discuss whether Blanco will play a part in any new episodes of the Narcos series.

While one fan asked whether she would feature, CruzAderjc said: “One of the showrunners said the line at the end of Season 3 where they say ‘Mexico is where the real war is at’ was basically telling us we’re done with the Colombia story.

“They said we might get cameos of figures from Colombia, but the series will mostly focus on Mexico now. They want to bridge where Narcos: Mexico starts all the way to the El Chapo Drug Wars of the early 2000s.”

Other fans have highlighted how the series goes through Escobar’s rise and fall with no mention of Blanco, so she is not likely to appear.

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The famous drug lord does, however, feature in a number of documentary films including Cocaine Cowboys and its sequel.

There was also news of a film called Cocaine Godmother, a TV biopic on Blanco, which starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and aired in 2018 on Lifetime.

In an article titled ‘Searching for the Godmother of Crime’, from 2008, said: “The legend of Griselda Blanco was Born on a warm spring day in 1975, when her Learjet touched down at the Bogotá airport after a 2½-hour flight from Miami.

“A convoy of long black limousines manned by a crew of enforcers met the plane on the tarmac and whisked the 32-year-old over dusty roads toward the Colombian capital.

“Blanco was back in her native country to meet with her husband and business partner, Alberto Bravo, with whom she’d built a cartel that moved hundreds of kilos of cocaine in the U.S. and employed nearly 1,500 dealers.”

Narcos is available to watch on Netflix now

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