‘Godmother Of Cocaine’ Shot Dead In Colombia

A 69-year-old woman known throughout the drug world as the “Godmother of Cocaine” was gunned down by an assassin on a motorcycle in Colombia Monday, according to international news reports.

Griselda Blanco, once listed alongside Pablo Escobar as one of the “most notorious drug lords of the 1980s” by the Drug Enforcement Administration, was fatally shot as she left a butcher’s shop in western Medellin Monday afternoon, according to a  by Univision and El Colombiano. Colombia’s El Espectador reported authorities are looking for Blanco’s killers and are investigating possible motives for the killing.

Blanco served nearly 20 years in an American prison on drug trafficking charges and was at one point tied to as many as 40 murders in the U.S., according to a 1997 Senate testimony given by then-director of DEA international operations Michael Horn. Horn said that Blanco ordered a Florida mall shooting in 1979 that left two dead and four injured, and she apparently enjoyed her line of work.


Court documents filed in 1988, three years after Blanco was caught, detail the shadowy, decade-long hunt for the queenpin that involved federal agents chasing false identities and checking Miami hospitals for gunshot wound victims that matched Blanco’s description. But she wasn’t able to elude them forever and after being captured in 1985 in Irvin, Calif. and serving nearly two decades behind bars in America, Blanco was released from prison and deported back to Colombia in 2004.

Did Griselda Blanco deserve to be gunned down in broad daylight? What do you think is the motive behind the assassination of the notorious “Godmother of Cocaine”? Feel free to share your opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

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Mafia Becomes Italy’s ‘Top Bank’ Amid Economic Crisis

Organized crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country’s biggest “bank” and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday.

Extortionate lending by criminal groups had become a “national emergency,” said the report by anti-crime group SOS Impresa. Organized crime now generated annual turnover of about 140 billion euros ($178.89 billion) and profits of more than 100 billion euros, it added.

Organized crime groups like the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Naples Camorra or the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta have long had a stranglehold on the Italian economy, generating profits equivalent to about 7 percent of national output. Extortionate lending had become an increasingly sophisticated and lucrative source of income, alongside drug trafficking, arms smuggling, prostitution, gambling and racketeering, the report said. It estimated about 200,000 businesses were tied to extortionate lenders and tens of thousands of jobs had been lost as a result.

Small businesses, who have struggled to get hold of credit during the economic slowdown, may have been increasingly tempted to turn to the mafia, said the report. Typical victims of extortionate lending were middle-aged shopkeepers and small businessmen who would struggle to find a new job and who were ready to try anything to avoid bankruptcy, it added.

According to a separate report this week from small business association CNA, 56 percent of companies had seen banks tighten their lending requirements in the past three months.

 

Source: Reuters

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