Netflix's Griselda ending explained: what actually happened to Griselda Blanco?

Here's the chaotic ending of Netflix's Griselda explained, plus what actually happened to Griselda Blanco in real life...

Sofia Vergara as Griselda in the new Netflix show
(Image credit: Netflix)

The highly anticipated Netflix crime drama series Griselda has finally been released, and viewers have been left hooked on Sofia Vergara’s portrayal of the crime boss. 

Viewers have been obsessed with Sofia Vergara's transformation into Griselda Blanco and are desperate to know what happened to Griselda Blanco's children and other characters such as Chucho Castro and Carmen Gutierrez. So what happened to the real-life Griselda? Here’s the rundown of what happened at the end of Netflix’s Griselda and where Griselda Blanco is now. 

Warning! There are spoilers ahead...

Sofia Vergara as Griselda in the new Netflix drama

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's Griselda ending explained

By the time of Blanco’s arrest in the series, she’s made enemies left, right and centre, leaving her drug business under threat. Her friend Carmen turns on her, after Griselda tries to kill her for being a potential snitch while high on drugs. The Ochoa family, who supply her drugs to sell, are after her because of her role in the accidental death of Marta Ochoa, and of course, the police are after her. 

Her biggest mistake comes when she orders her right-hand man and hitman, Jorge “Rivi” Ayala-Rivera, to kill Jesus “Chucho” Castro for punching her son, who was trying to evade the police at Castro’s home. Rivi attempts to kill Chucho with Griselda’s infamous ride-by killings, but he misses and accidentally shoots Chucho’s two-year-old son, Johnny, who he didn’t know was in the car. 

The killing of Chucho’s toddler makes the DEA task force even more determined to nail Blanco. With all these people after her, Blanco goes on the run to California with her children, bar Michael, whom Dario has kidnapped to get him away from the drug business.

Sofia Vergara as Griselda in the new Netflix drama

(Image credit: Netflix)

Rivi gets a phone call alerting him that Rafa, who works for the Ochoa family, is in LA on his way to kill Blanco. In a moment of desperation, Rivi pulls a gun on a bank teller to get money so he can use a payphone to warn Griselda of Rafa’s presence. Blanco sends her children away from the hotel they’re hiding at and calls the police on herself to prevent the Ochoa family from killing her.  

Getting Blanco wasn’t enough for intelligence analyst June Hawkins - she wanted to take down the Cocaine Godmother’s entire operation. While reflecting on Blanco’s arrest, she realises that Blanco wouldn’t go to prison without someone to protect her children. The police put out an APB on Rivi for kidnapping Blanco’s 12-year-old son Osvaldo. It allows Rivi to enter the federal system and puts out a nationwide alert for him. The police found Rivi’s location from the CCTV footage at the bank where he pulled the gun. 

Rivi agrees to testify against Griselda to get a lesser sentence, which Blanco sees as a betrayal. But Rivi had one more trick up his sleeve as he was involved in a phone sex scandal with secretaries who worked in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. The series depicts this as helping lessen Blanco’s sentence. 

The ending of the Netflix show is similar to Blanco’s real story, as prosecutors offered her a deal, allowing her to be released after seven years of time served. The plea deal meant prosecutors couldn’t charge her with murders that happened before 1985. She was released in June 2004 and deported back to Colombia.

What happened to Dario at the end of Griselda?

After Griselda gives birth to her fourth son, Michael, Dario wants her to exit the cocaine business for the safety of their family, but Blanco refuses. Dario ends up kidnapping his son, saying he did it to save their son from Griselda. 

He takes Michael back to his mother’s house in Colombia. While not explicitly stated, it is alluded to in the series that she gets Dario killed by pretend police officers, allowing the hired men to bring Michael back to America to be reunited with his brothers and mother, who is now in prison.

Alberto Guerra as Dario Sepulveda in 'Griselda'

(Image credit: Neftlix)

What happened to the real Griselda Blanco?

On the 3rd of September 2012, Griselda Blanco, also known as La Madrina, the Black Widow, and the Cocaine Godmother, was killed at the age of 69. She was murdered outside a butcher shop in Medellín, Colombia. She was killed by motorcycle-riding hitmen which echoed the infamous drive-by shooting method she'd used as the boss of the Miami drug trade. 

According to El Colombiano, the Cocaine godmother was with her pregnant daughter-in-law at the time of her death, who was unharmed. Professor Bruce Bagley, head of the University of Miami's Department of International Studies and author of the book Drug Trafficking in the Americas, told The Guardian, "She might have retired to Colombia and wasn't anything like the kind of player she was in her early days, but she had lingering enemies almost everywhere you look. What goes around comes around."

When she died, media outlets such as CBS reported that Blanco was responsible for “75 to 150 murders over her lifetime” which included the death of a two-year-old boy. Blanco was buried in Jardines Montesacro cemetery, the same cemetery that holds fellow Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Liv Facey
Contributing writer

Liv Facey is a freelance multimedia journalist and producer. She dabbles in entertainment, lifestyle, travel and news. She has bylines in a range of publications including The Times, Teen Vogue, Refinery29 and Mashable. When Liv’s not binging the latest TV series, she’s often travelling to new countries, reading or out purchasing new makeup products which she can’t seem to stop buying.