Starring Sofía Vergara, Griselda tells the story of Griselda Blanco (Vergara), an ambitious Colombian businesswoman and mother who created one of the most profitable cocaine cartels in history.
The series explores Griselda fleeing Colombia for Miami with her three sons and how she sets up her business. Ultimately, arrests, murder, lies, and more catch up to Griselda as she tries to hold on to the empire she's created.
So because Griselda is based on a real person and her story, here are 19 facts about her and everything that happened during the rise and fall of Griselda's business:
There are obviously major spoilers ahead for Griselda on Netflix.
1.First, it is reported that Griselda Blanco and her husband and business partner Alberto Bravo had moved hundreds of kilos of cocaine in the US and employed close to 1,500 dealers while operating out of NYC.
2.In 1975, Griselda reportedly returned to Colombia having found that "millions in profits had gone missing," and she blamed her husband. Similar to what is shown in the series, Griselda apparently shot and killed Alberto, and she left with only a wound to her stomach.
3.Griselda earned the nickname "Black Widow" because she reportedly had been responsible for the deaths of her husbands. Alongside Alberto, Griselda was also linked to the death of her first husband Carlos Trujillo, whom she apparently had murdered over a "business dispute."
4.She also really had the nickname "The Godmother," due to her ruthless tactics. According to Jorge "Rivi" Ayala, who is depicted in the series, Griselda "liked to be at war. Every day she'd say, 'We've got to get so-and-so.'"
5.Griselda's operation in Miami led to her apparently smuggling "more than three tons of cocaine into the United States annually. This also led to her yielding close to $80 million per month."
6.Griselda reportedly opened up a lingerie factory in Colombia, specifically so the pieces could be made to include compartments and pockets for smuggling drugs, according to Vice.
7.According to the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, the "first homicide of note" Griselda was "involved in" while living in Miami was Dadeland, which is when a hitmen crew entered a liquor store and opened fire in July 1979 notably killing German Jimenez Panesso and his bodyguard.
8.Jorge "Rivi" Ayala was really Griselda's right-hand henchmen and did kill Jesus Castro's 2-year-old son while pursuing him. In the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, Rivi explained how Johnny was in the backseat sleeping when he was shot and killed. "If I would have seen [him], I would've never touched that car," Rivi said.
9.June Hawkins is a real person, who was a Miami-Dade police department intelligence analyst who worked to help build a case against Griselda. For a long time, her instrumental involvement in the case was minimized, until the Griselda creators started to research more about Griselda and learned about June.
10.The car chase involving June Hawkins and Rafael "Amilcar" Rodriguez really happened, and it lasted a few days, according to June. While working with the phone company, they were able to pinpoint Amilcar's location. After running, commandeering a car, and more, June and Raul Diaz eventually caught him "in a laundromat hiding behind a [washing] machine."
11.Griselda married Dario Sepúlveda in 1978, and they had one son together, Michael Corleone Blanco, who is named after the famous The Godfather character. According to Vice, she reportedly had eight women killed because she thought they might've slept with Dario.
12.Griselda's three eldest sons — Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo — were reportedly all killed, but unlike the series, it's unclear how it happened. For a while, it was believed that only Uber and Osvaldo had died, with Billy Corben, who directed Cocaine Cowboys, writing at the time of Griselda's death that she was survived by her sons Dixon and Michael, with Dixon living in Colombia.
13.As shown in Griselda, the Washington Post did report that Osvaldo was killed in a Colombian nightclub in 1992. His death came after reports that Osvaldo and Dixon had become good friends with Rayful Edmond III, who was sent to prison for life "for running [Washington, DC's] largest ever cocaine operation." The trio shared a cellblock together.
14.Jorge "Rivi" Ayala pled guilty to three murders in 1993, but according to NBC News Miami, he was likely "responsible for some three dozen murders during the '80s drug war." He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, but he was denied parole in 2013.
15.Jorge "Rivi" Ayala was really involved in the phone sex scandal, which saw several Miami-Dade state attorney's office secretaries allegedly having phone sex with Rivi while he was in prison. At the time, Rivi was said to be "a key prosecution witness" for the case against Griselda.
16.In 1984, Griselda moved her operation to California per the documentary Cocaine Cowboys. The documentary states that the "homicide rate went down" in the mid-'80s in Miami, which could be linked to Griselda leaving.
17.DEA agent Bob Palumbo eventually caught Griselda in 1985. She was charged with conspiring to manufacture, import, and distribute cocaine and was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for her original drug trafficking indictment.
18.In 1998, Griselda pled guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and was "sentenced to serve three concurrent 20-year sentences." However, in 2004, she was deported to Colombia.
19.And finally, in 2012, Griselda was "gunned down" in Medellín, Colombia, according to NBC News. She was reportedly shot and killed by "a motorcycle-riding assassin," which was also the technique she and her hitmen reportedly used to carry out murders.