Nefarious drug lord Pablo Escobar was known as the king of cocaine, but his quotes about Griselda Blanco, a.k.a “The Cocaine Godmother,” proved that even he was scared of her. While Pablo founded and operated the Medellín cartel, Griselda worked alongside it while establishing herself as Miami’s drug queenpin. Their relationship, however, involved far more complex elements than just shared business dealings. 

What Was Pablo Escobar’s Quote About Griselda Blanco?

Pablo was still known as being the world’s most nefarious drug lord whose operations dominated 80 percent of the global cocaine market. While Griselda was one part of his worldwide trafficking – and the only female in the game – Pablo himself admitted to being terrified of her. 

“The only man I was ever afraid of was a woman named Griselda Blanco,” Pablo famously said about the only drug queenpin to break into the top 10 drug lord earners. 

Pablo was killed in 1993, dying in a shootout between the Medellín cartel and Colombian authorities. He had just celebrated his 44th birthday the day prior. Griselda, meanwhile, was imprisoned and later deported from the United States to Colombia. Eight years after her release in 2004, she was killed in motorcycle-assassin style at the age of 69. The two are linked in death, as they are both buried at Colombia’s Montesacro Cemetery. 

Was Griselda Blanco Before Pablo Escobar? 

Pablo and Griselda’s drug-related timelines significantly overlapped. Both natives of Colombia, Pablo established the Medellín cartel in Griselda’s hometown of the same name, projecting him into the underworld of drug production and smuggling. Griselda, meanwhile, moved from Medellín to New York with her first husband, Carlos Trujillo, in the 1960s, and was introduced to Pablo’s cocaine-centered world through her second husband, Alberto Bravo, a smuggler for the Medellín cartel. 

While married to Alberto, Griselda started putting a crew together, but fled back to Medellín in 1975 to avoid trafficking charges. It was there that she shot Alberto in the head for cheating on her and gained her first of many nicknames: Black Widow. 

Griselda – alongside Pablo’s Medellín cartel – continued working out of Colombia, with Griselda primarily working out of Medellín-controlled lingerie stores so she could smuggle cocaine in the pockets of bras and underwear. She would eventually make her way to Miami, where her cocaine empire escalated to unimaginable levels. 

Griselda Blanco’s Cocaine Empire Was a ‘Subset’ of Pablo Escobar’s Cartel 

Back in Miami, Griselda continued to grow her operations, all while creating a fearsome reputation. To even be considered a contender for her crew, Los Pistoleros, auditioners would have to murder someone and provide either a finger or ear for proof. Adding an even more gruesome aspect to her already-violent reputation, Griselda coined the motorcycle assassination – driving by a target while firing a machine gun from the back. 

Journalist Jeff Leen, who cowrote the book Kings of Cocaine: Inside the Medellín Cartel, told Rolling Stone of Griselda’s reign in Florida, “It was almost this subterranean sense of fear and dread that there was this very dangerous, very lucrative industry taking place just beneath the surface of everything you saw in sunny, beautiful Miami.” 

Of her dominance in the cocaine business in the sunshine state – as well as Pablo’s involvement – Jeff further explained, “Her empire was a subset of the cartel’s operations in South Florida, which had a dozen other arms. So she was one arm, but she was most prominent because of … her role in all these murders. So, her bloodthirsty connection to these murders gave her more of a reputation than her actually moving the coke.” Griselda was convicted of just three murders, but was implicated in more than 200. 

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