Drug boss Griselda Blanco had many nicknames -- the "Black Widow," the "Godmother," and the "Cocaine Queen" -- but it was her role in the documentary Cocaine Cowboys and its sequel Hustlin With the Godmother that made her a star. Last night she was gunned down in a motorcycle killing in Colombia at the age of 69.
Blanco is an odd sort of folk "hero" for some. She was every bit as ruthless as men -- sometimes far more. She boasted of killing a 2-year-old instead of his dad (her intended target) because "it would upset the father." She was responsible for the death of three husbands, a fact that earned her the "Black Widow" nickname. She was also a mother of four sons who named her youngest Michael Corleone after her favorite film The Godfather.
Despite rising to the top of an underworld dominated by ruthless men, Blanco is no feminist hero. She was a criminal who made it to 69 by killing all those who might have killed her first. See below from Cocaine Cowboys 2:
It's a strange thing in our culture, the way we glorify those who commit such acts of violence. Tony Montana, the fictional main character in Scarface, is a cult hero and yet he was a thug and a murderer. Blanco was REAL and she was just as ruthless (if not more) and yet some hero worship her, too, even going so far as to call her a feminist hero.
I don't think so.
She may have been a woman, but the qualities one should admire in ALL humans (not just women) of compassion, empathy, and respect for human life seemed missing in Blanco.
She is considered responsible for 40 murders. Her trail of death and destruction led from Miami to New York and back again. I am not sure anyone "deserves" to die, but there's no doubt she had lived far longer than most in her line of work do.
There's nothing sexy or exciting about organized crime and violence. It isn't glamorous and we shouldn't look up to people who incite it and live that way. Any death should be mourned, and I am sure her surviving two sons, including Michael who is in trouble himself for drug trafficking, are grieving. But it's amazing she lived as long as she did.
Blanco's crimes weren't in a movie. They weren't fictional. They were very, very real and shouldn't be elevated.
Did you know anything about "The Godmother"?
Image via DBeeNine/YouTube