The story of Griselda Blanco had been around film studios for some time. Now that she is played by Sofía Vergara in the Netflix series, it is worth reflecting on high-ranking female drug traffickers who break the stereotype.
In the series, an attempt is made to present different dimensions of a woman who controlled the distribution of cocaine in Miami, in the 1980s. These facets involve motherhood, erotic-affective relationships, sex-service and the management of her businesses. .
Griselda Blanco, like other women, went unnoticed, even by the authorities themselves. Based on the new Netflix series, the American detectives investigating the distribution of narcotics did not even allow themselves as a hypothesis to suspect that a woman could be in charge of these criminal operations.
Gender stigmas are so marked in a business dominated by men that even the media has always been seduced by presenting only the stories of women romantically linked to cartel leaders.
It is precisely Sofía Vergara, an icon of Latin beauty, who embodies Griselda. The Colombian actress cancels all the attractions that have made her known worldwide and transforms herself with makeup that modifies her nose and eyebrows, puts on another set of teeth and a wig, in addition to walking with a body posture that makes her look corpulent. All to personify who they nicknamed “The Queen of Cocaine.”
Vergara has said in interviews that she did not want viewers to hate Griselda from the first episodes, which is why her bioseries emphasizes that the drug trafficker was the mother of four children.
However, we cannot romanticize Griselda Blanco’s motherhood and, much less, excuse her for the crimes she committed, arguing her love for her children. This license taken in the series to sublimate the maternal instinct, paradoxically, contrasts with the original idea of not promoting gender stereotypes.
In fact, in the series, disqualifications such as “housewife” are recurring when other traffickers refer to Griselda. In the script of her story, emphasis is placed on how her male counterparts despise her status as a woman, ridicule her, insult her, belittle her, and objectify her.
Those who investigated their modus operandi They highlight that she was a brilliant, intelligent, innovative woman, unfortunately involved with an illegal industry. And, precisely, that is why it is a difficult story to watch, because she managed to survive in an environment in which women must be just as cruel and bloodthirsty as their male counterparts.
The Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar is credited with the phrase: “The only man I have been afraid of is a woman named Griselda Blanco.” This is how the bioseries begins, but the source of this attractive legend is not very clear.
Without being a fan of narco-series, I cannot stop writing about the topics that are addressed in these programs, and that concern this column, such as the relationship between cocaine consumption and sexual appetite.
Apparently, Griselda Blanco knew how to take advantage of this narcotic potential to open a new consumer market in the United States. Although it has not been fully documented, much has been written about how the so-called “Godmother” or “Black Widow” experienced the excesses of alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics, including high-risk sexual practices.
We must be aware that Netflix is just an entertainment provider. Producers find it attractive to offer these types of stories about drug bosses, because lately the empowerment of women “sells”, but they should be cautious about how the role of women who live in crime circuits should be exposed. organized.
In Griselda’s story, three of her four children died. They were murdered in different conflicts with other drug cartels. She still lives with her youngest son, whom they named Michael Corleone Sepúlveda Blanco, in reference to the character in the movie The Godfather.
Michael has worked on his emotional and personal rehabilitation. He managed to get away from the life of the drug cartels. He built a clothing line called “Pure Blanco” that allows him to work in a legal business. In his own words, he no longer wants to inherit a “generational sin” to his children.
Griselda’s only living son has publicly expressed his discontent with Sofía Vergara’s series. He even writes a book to share his version of his mother. “She was my best friend,” he responded to Puerto Rican reporter Carolina Rosario, in 2020, to a specific question about what Griselda Blanco meant to him.
In that interview, he also refers to the upbringing he wants for his children, that he wants to be a good father and be there for his children and, very interestingly, he says that one can “evolve from violence”, even despite having lived under cartel law.
*Delia Angélica Ortiz is a journalist specialized in inclusion and diversity.
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