Griselda Blanco (Florida Department of Corrections)
By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
Griselda Blanco, the 69-year-old Colombian drug boss who pioneered the use of motorcyle-riding assassins among warring gangs, has been gunned down herself in Medellin, TheMiami Herald reports.
Blanco -- dubbed the "Godmother of Cocaine" --spent 18 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders, including the death in Miami in 1982 of the 2-year-old son of one of her former "enforcers," the Herald reports.
She was deported to Colombia in 2004.
The Medellin newspaper El Colombiano says Blanco was shot to death Monday by a gunman who pulled up to her on his motorcycle as she stepped out of a butcher shop.
The newspaper says she was with her pregnant daughter-in-law, who was not injured. The woman told police that Blanco was no longer involved in organized crime and planned to live off the sale of several of her properties.
El Colombiano reports that Blanco, who was born into poverty, got her start in crime after marrying into a family known for stealing wallets at fairs and carnivals.
At the height of her criminal activity, the Herald reports, Blanco was smuggling 3,400 pounds of cocaine a month to the United States by boat and plane.
She has also been linked to at least 40 murders, many in violent ambushes that were a trademark of the "cocaine cowboy" drug rivalries.
El Colombiano says Blanco was obsessed with the Sicilian mafia and even named her youngest son after Michael Corleone, the Mob-boss role portrayed by Al Pacino in The Godfather films.