Griselda Blanco's Net Worth Skyrocketed as She Cornered the Miami Drug Market in the 1970s

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jan. 24 2024, Updated 1:16 p.m. ET

Griselda Blanco
Source: YouTube/Grunge

Griselda Blanco

Journalist Roben Farzad moved to Miami, Fla. in 1978 as the cocaine boom was just beginning. Nearly 40 years later, he would go on to write "Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami,” which focused on a hotel that became the heart of the Miami drug trade. In December 2017, Farzad told PBS NewsHour that "when cocaine came to town it was so ridiculously profitable, it was so seductive, it made people do such crazy things in the name of money and power and blood lust."

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Griselda Blanco was one of those people. Her rise to power was so unprecedented and terrifyingly impressive, it would earn her the nickname Cocaine Godmother. There was little she wouldn't do to maintain her status and wealth, including kill. For nearly a decade Blanco was moving ungodly amounts of product from Colombia through Miami, New York, and California. She was definitely making bank. Let's take a look at her net worth.

confiscated drugs
Source: Getty Images

Cocaine traffickers of the Medellin cartel arrested by Colombian police in 1988

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Griselda Blanco had a staggering net worth.

Elaine Carey, author of "Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime," told the Real Narcos podcast that Blanco chose the right people to help smuggle drugs into the United States. She used Colombian sex workers as her mules. Their sexuality worked in Blanco's favor. Blanco created specialized garments the mules used to carry cocaine. "These garments would allow for the drugs to be more smoothed around the body and it would just look like a woman’s natural figure."

Griselda Blanco Restrepo

Colombian drug lord

Net worth: $2 billion

Griselda Blanco, aka the Cocaine Godmother, was a Colombian drug lord who cornered the Miami drug trafficking market from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s.

Birth date: Feb. 14, 1943

Birth place: Cartegena, Colombia

Mother: Ana Blanco

Marriage: Dario Sepulveda (1978 - 1983, when he died); Alberto Bravo (late 1960s - 1975, when Blanco killed him); (Carlos Trujillo (late 1950s - late 1960s)

Children: with Carlos Trujillo: Osvaldo, Uber, and Dixon Trujillo; with Dario Sepulveda: Michael Corleone Blanco

Death date: Sept. 3, 2012

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It was Blanco's ability to use misogyny in her favor that helped her "set up a distribution network across the US that netted her tens of millions of dollars a month ... and maintained her dominance by building an empire staffed with violent enforcers, who were well rewarded for following her orders to execute rivals at the drop of a hat to and make sure they left, no witnesses," per The Guardian. It was believed that she smuggled $80 million worth of cocaine per month into the United States.

Celebrity Net Worth reports that Blanco was worth $2 billion at the peak of her drug trafficking ring. Blanco also invested in real estate that was estimated to be worth $500 million at the time of her death. "The feds seized four of Griselda's properties that were worth 2 billion pesos (around $118.7 million), and it is believed that she owned hundreds more, including an apartment that cost 550 million pesos ($32.6 million)."

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