Griselda Blanco (below) may favor an harmless middle-aged housewife. Don’t be fooled. This is the first woman in history to head a major Columbian drug network which grossed $8 million a month, she was nicknamed "The Godmother Of Cocaine." Blanco was also an active serial killer. Below are excerpts from “Queenpins Of The Cali Cartel” written by Hariette Surovell.
Griselda Blanco was the first female drug trafficker in history. She is also credited with being a visionary, she was the first person to see the capabilities in connecting New York, Miami and Columbia for cocaine distribution. Blanco was not only a drug trafficker, she was also an ‘serial killer’ nicknamed, “The Black Widow.” She killed her three husbands and she killed people who owed her money and people she owed money to. Sometimes, she killed for fun. She operated as a “Mafia Don,” hiring hit men in twenty-five different cities so that she didn’t get her hands dirty.
A rape victim, abused child, prostitute and street pocket who came from extreme poverty, Blanco came to Queens in the late 1960’s with her boyfriend (Carlos Trujillo) the father of three of her four sons. Trujillo introduced her to Alberto Bravo, a trafficker from Medellin and Bravo introduced Blanco to his world. One day, Bravo said something that offended Blanco, she stuck the muzzle of a loaded gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. In 1971, she started her own cocaine network. She used numerous sources who supplied her with cocaine.
Blanco was also bi-sexual who only used female mules. They often wore lingerie Blanco had designed herself and which were sold in her Medellin Boutique. The underwear contained special pockets capable of concealing two kilograms of cocaine. Soon, Blanco was grossing $8 million dollars a month in drug profits. She traveled frequently between New York and Miami. She moved to Florida in 1978 where she assembled a group of young assassins called “The Pisteleros.” To become a member, one needed to kill someone and cut off a body part as proof of the deed.
In 1979, Blanco orchestrated the infamous Dade County Shopping Mall Massacre. A van advertising party supplies unleashed two hit men, armed with automatic weapons, who converged on a liquor store where Blanco had arranged to meet two drug competitors to whom she owed a great deal of money. Her intention was to kill the competitors and erase her debt. The shooters killed two targets. In 1982, Blanco ordered a hit on Chucho Castro, a former employee who had angered her because he refused to meet with her. Blanco’s assassins drove up alongside Castro’s van, fired shots, and missing Chucho, killed his toddler son Johnny, instead. Later that same year, she ordered the hit of a couple who owed her drug money, the Lorenzo’s. Afterwards, Blanco became enraged that the hit men left the couple’s three children alive.
Blanco inspired such fear and insulated herself so successfully, it took law enforcement 16 years to find anyone willing to testify against her.
Between 1981-1984, Blanco began smoking a highly potent form of cocaine, she became addicted and smoked her way through $7 million dollars worth of cocaine and began slowly losing her mind. She bought Eva Peron’s diamonds and the Queen Of England’s tea set. She killed strippers and topless dancers for fun and once shot a pregnant woman in the stomach. She ripped off her best friend for $1.8 million and then tortured, beat, shot and wrapped her in plastic and tossed her in a canal. Around this time, her current lover bought her a Christmas present, an emerald and gold encrusted MAC-10. Blanco also loved to attend lesbian and bi-sexual orgies.
Over time, Blanco became fat and sloppy and forced men to have sex with her at gunpoint. Eventually she also became addicted to painkillers and tranquilizers.
The police finally got a break when a former member of her crew agreed to testify against her if his life sentence was reduced. Blanco was arrested in 1985 in a cocaine trafficking case in New York.
On October 1, 1998, state prosecutors in Florida decided to negotiate a plea with Blanco. If she pled guilty to ordering the murder of Chucho Castro, resulting in the death of his son. Her sentence? Twenty years in a Florida prison, credited to time served in New York. Blanco accepted the plea deal. Due to her poor health, she had one heart attack behind bars but survived.
After serving 20 years in prison, Blanco was released in 2004 and deported back to Columbia. The same place where three of her four sons were killed within days of their return to Columbia.
Mery “La Senora” Valencia (COCAINE QUEENPIN)
On February 7, 1997, an international fugitive who had undergone extensive plastic surgery, stepped off a plane at the Rio de Janiero airport preparing to don a real mask to participate in the biggest party in the world, ‘Carnival.’ The fugitive, aged 44, carried 13 passports and a ledger book containing names of cocaine-trafficking clients and was immediately arrested by a bevy of Brazillian police and federal agents. The fugitive’s name was Mery Valencia (no photo available). Her nickname was “La Senora” and she was one of the pre-eminent international cocaine traffickers in the formerly male-dominated Cali cartel.
The scope of her operation, which begun in 1986, involved multiple millions of dollars and over 25 tons of cocaine, which were shipped from Columbia to the United States via Puerto Rico and then transported to NY, NJ, IL, FL, OH and CA. On the same day she was arrested, 56 other members of her organization were either arrested or indicted in America. Raids netted over 320 kilos of cocaine and $20 million in cash. Stash houses in Long Beach, CA. were also raided.
Just as remarkable as the fact this operation was headed by a woman is the fact that all of Valencia’s top lieutenants were also female. Included were her sister Luz Valencia-Castrillon, who was allegedly overseeing money laundering operations from Columbia. Another sister, Alba Valencia was also involved as well as an ex-sister-in-law Josephine Valencia and a first cousin, Flor Castano. Valencia has been described as a behind-the-scenes taskmaster, demanding an exact accounting for every ounce of coke sold. She even intimidated the male members of her organization, one was heard on a wire tap saying, “I would never do anything without Le Senora’s permission.”
Valencia was also known to have an affluent lifestyle. She enjoyed extensive foreign travel and owned several apartments and country homes in Columbia, she also owned a discotheque called “Black Streets,” and a health and beauty store called ‘Beverly Hills’ in Cali, Columbia. Not since the 1970’s, since Griselda Blanco earned millions has a woman attained so much power and profit in the notoriously sexist world of drug cartels.
While the Brazil authorities had remained adamant about the policy that prevented them from extraditing Valencia for being a narcotics trafficker, they finally relented when it was insisted Valencia be returned to the US to be arrested on money laundering and drug charges.
In 1999, Mery Valencia was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
Source: “Queenpins Of The Cali Cartel” by Hariette Surovell