Real-Life Michael Corleone Blanco: What Is The Story Of Griselda’s Son?

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No matter what people say, it is quite impossible to escape our parents’ shadow, which eventually molds our personalities. It is said that a son often repeats the sins of his father, or mother in this case. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Griselda Blanco had become the undisputed queenpin of South Florida. She distributed thousands of kilos of cocaine in Miami alone and brutally murdered hundreds of people to maintain her reign of terror. It was the kind of household her four young boys grew up in. Her eldest sons, Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo, whom she had with her first husband, Carlos Trujillo, were born long before the Colombian Cartel Queen set foot in the new world. Her fourth and youngest son, Michael Corleone, whom she had with Dario Sepulveda, was born in Miami, Florida, thereby suggesting that the boy had American citizenship, unlike his three stepbrothers.

According to the sources, the shocking murder of Marta Salderriega marked the fall of Griselda’s empire. Even though Marta’s father had refused to seek revenge for his daughter, many in the Colombian Cartel wanted to get rid of the Black Widow because of her bloodthirsty pursuits. Griselda, too, had become addicted to the drugs, because of which she had to entrust the responsibility of her drug trafficking business to her three illiterate sons. These young lads grew up believing that their mother was an invincible Godmother who had Miami in the palm of her hand, but that era was long gone and forgotten. In the later years of her life, she relocated her base of operation to Irvine, California, where she resided with her youngest son until her arrest in 1985.

Contrary to what was portrayed in the Netflix series, Michael’s father, Dario, never really worked for a drug trafficker named Fernando. According to Henri Dauber’s book, Griselda was seeing a Cuban masseur before she met Michael’s father. The Medellin cartel had sent the Colombian bandit to the United States to meet the Queen of Cocaine and learn from her experiences. But their meeting took a different route when they fell in love at first sight. She eventually made him her third husband, giving birth to her fourth child, whom she named after the protagonist of the Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather, as she was a huge fan of the classic crime-drama.

As the years went on, Dario became homesick and wanted to return to Colombia, but Griselda had different plans. It led to a crack in their marriage. Furthermore, Dario had witnessed the state of Griselda’s oldest sons, who were illiterate to the core. He didn’t want Michael to become like them and therefore argued with his almighty wife to send their boy to school. But Griselda had reasons not to do so. Her kids were her soft spots. Her vulnerability, which her rivals could have used against her, Dario wanted to move out, which was why he stepped over Griselda. He pretended to take their son to a shopping mall while he boarded an Avianca plane to travel to Bogota in 1983.

According to the DEA’s most solid state witness, Max Mermelstein (who also featured in the Netflix series), Griselda swore to take revenge from Dario for kidnapping their child. In Colombia, Dario and Michael stayed with Dario’s mother until he was brutally assassinated for betraying the Evil Queenpin. One day, the police stopped Dario’s car while he was traveling with his son. The cops asked him to step out of the car, and as soon as they put a handcuff on him, he started to run, fearing for his life. Most likely, Dario had sensed that they were not real cops, but some assassins dressed in police uniforms sent by her wife. The cops opened fire on Dario and killed the father in front of his son. While many police reports and sources suggest that it was Griselda who called the hit on Dario, Michael feels otherwise.

The Black Widow finally got rid of her husband and stayed with her youngest son in Irvine. However, as the report suggests, after Griselda’s arrest, it was Dario’s mother who looked after Michael and raised him. Authorities arrested and later deported her three eldest sons to Colombia due to their nationality. After her release from prison, Griselda reunited with her son in Medellin and preferably wanted to spend the rest of her life in peace, but the horrors of her past ultimately hunted her down. An unknown assassin shot her dead. A few months before Griselda’s assassination, Michael was arrested by the Miami police on May 12, 2012, for drug trafficking charges, and they put him under house arrest. Griselda knew about Michael’s arrest, but she didn’t come to meet him personally, believing she would jeopardize her son’s safety.

Throughout the years, Michael has been a part of various documentary films, most prominently the Cocaine Cowboys documentary franchise, where he shared key insights about his mother with the makers. He also started a record label named “Xtorxion” to produce Latin hip-hop acts. Griselda’s crimes put her only surviving son into the spotlight as various documentary filmmakers and investigative shows, with the advent of various streaming platforms and the popular Narcos series, wanted to cover the horrible state of the Miami Cocaine War during the 1980s. Only a few people had been eyewitnesses to such horrors, and Michael was indeed one of those people who skimmed the opportunity to his benefit.

Presently, Michael is a social media celebrity who uses his mother’s popularity to sell his t-shirts, masks, phone covers, etc. of his cartel-themed lifestyle brand, “Pure Blanco.” He even uses his mother’s photographs and her iconic titles, such as “Black Widow,” “Narco,” and “Cartel Queen,” on various merchandise to popularize the “gangsta” theme and pay homage to his late mother. Although the entrepreneur has been arrested for buying five kilos of cocaine from a snitch, the man continues to sell cannabis-based products through his company, which often features the “Black Widow Spider.” Furthermore, Michael takes pride in the “Black Widow Gang” and has been quite supportive of his mother’s actions. He even wrote a book on his mother, which he believes is the true account of his mother’s nature, contrary to what was presented in the Netflix series.

In the end, the delusional son believed that his mother was a born-again Christian and washed away her sins simply by changing her religion. I really wish things worked like that. Nevertheless, I can understand the reason behind it. If he doesn’t advocate for his mother’s actions and doesn’t sue Netflix to create conflict, how will he hold on to the spotlight as a public figure? That said, a son often repeats the sins of his mother, mostly because he fails to see the consequences of her actions. He fails to hear the cries of so many people who lost their family members in the heinous drug wars, which no “one” can atone for simply by changing their religion. Griselda Blanco deserved a death sentence, but she was saved due to some flaws in the legal system. Whatever the case might be, with the advent of social media celebrities, we have seen much worse justifications for much more gruesome crimes than this one.


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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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