Ever since its release on 25 January 2024, Netflix’s Griselda, a biographical crime drama about Griselda Blanco, the notorious Colombian drug lord, has stirred up considerable controversy. To many, the series romanticises the crimes of the protagonist to tell a glamorised tale about a corrupt girl boss. To others, such as her only surviving son Michael Corleone Blanco, the show focuses too heavily on the atrocities committed by the cocaine queenpin.
On The Real Griselda podcast hosted by the filmmaker Billy Corben, Griselda’s only surviving son shared his thoughts about the Netflix hit series.
“It’s a rush of emotions. It’s very surreal,” Blanco told Corben. “I’m not going to lie to you; it was very emotional. There was a point where I found myself gasping for air. I found myself happy. I found myself sad,” he continued.
Still, Griselda’s youngest son had a couple of remarks about the show: “I feel that the story, our story, my family’s story, the Blanco family’s universe, it’s so complex and so legendary it should be shown respect when it comes to storytelling. I think the story deserved a little more.”
In short, after immigrating from Columbia to the US, Griselda became a multimillionaire by climbing to the top of the American drug scene. Frequently referred to as “The Godmother of Cocaine”, Griselda allegedly killed north of 200 people while leading her merciless drug empire from their base in Miami.
“You could say my mother was the first official whale because nobody had hundreds of kilos. Nobody had the laboratories. She pioneered the routes. She pioneered everything in the modern-day cocaine industry as we know it,” her son said.
The 45-year-old continued: “I liked that wherever my mother went, we went with her. So I liked the fact that they tried to humanise the character. That was nice. That’s probably it.”
Griselda had four sons, who were all born when she was in Miami. Their names are Dixon Trujillo-Blanco, Uber Trujillo-Blanco, Osvaldo Trujillo-Blanco and Michael Corleone Blanco. It has been reported that their mother’s wealth afforded them a glamorous life. However, when their mother was caught and served a 15-year prison sentence, her sons were targeted by her enemies.
“When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score,” an ex-homicide detective, who investigated Griselda’s death revealed.
The drug lord’s three oldest sons are all dead, and CBS News has confirmed that at least two of them were murdered. Michael has also noted that he has already survived two assassination attempts so far.
Well, Blanco is suing Netflix for starters. After a stint on the reality TV show Cartel Crew, which follows the descendants of drug lords, the youngest son created the lifestyle company Pure Blanco. It sells cartel-inspired clothing and accessories such as “Boss Like Griselda” T-shirts and phone cases that have his mother’s face on them.
Blanco claims that Netflix’s Griselda is based on private conversations he has had with producers for which he has not been compensated for. Speaking with NBC, Blanco’s lawyer stated: “Nobody else could have those ideas, and nobody else could have those stories.”