Who is Rivi in Griselda, and where is he now?

Here's what you need to know about the real Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala, Griselda's right hand man who is reportedly responsible for over 30 murders

Rivi in Griselda, played by Martin Rodriguez in the Netflix show
(Image credit: Netflix)

Here's everything you need to know about Rivi in Griselda, the ruthless hitman who became a criminal mastermind's right hand man.

Viewers are gripped by the stranger-than-fiction true story of what happened to Griselda and many have been left questioning what happened to the rest of the cartel left behind, including Carmen Gutierrez, Jesus 'Chucho' Castro, and the hitman Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala, played by Martin Rodriguez.

While it’s important to note the Netflix series is billed as a fictional retelling of the Colombian cartel run by Griselda Blanco throughout the 1970s and 80s, most of the characters and events depicted are rooted in truth – especially Griselda turning to Rivi for more of her sinister dealings. Here's what you need to know about the real Rivi and where he is now...

Rivi in Griselda in episode 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who is Rivi?

Jorge ‘Rivi’ Ayala was a real criminal who served as Griselda Blanco’s hitman. Viewers of the Netflix series will see many interesting stories involving Rivi emerge, including him robbing a bank for quarters. An odd choice of something to steal, given the relatively low value, but the bizarre moment actually happened.

Co-creator of the Netflix series, Doug Miro, explained in an article on Tudum that the bank robbing incident was what got Rivi caught – and would later lead to Griselda’s arrest.

The Black Widow: The Life and Crimes of Griselda Blanco, America’s First Billionaire Drug Smuggler, £12.31 |Amazon 

The Black Widow: The Life and Crimes of Griselda Blanco, America’s First Billionaire Drug Smuggler, £12.31 |Amazon 

Hugo Clark's biography about the real-life drug smuggler Griselda Blanco. Covering her life from her childhood to prostitution, to running a billion-dollar cocaine business in Miami.

Martín Rodríguez plays Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala in Netflix’s Griselda episode 1

(Image credit: Netflix)

Where is Rivi in real life now?

After being caught in 1993, Rivi was convicted for three murders, but NBC Miami reports he is believed to be responsible for at least “three dozen murders.” One of Rivi’s murders included the two-year old son of an intended victim, Jesus 'Chucho' Castro.

Among his many victims it was reported that Rivi also shot dead Alfredo and Grizel Lorenzo in 1982 as their three children watched TV in another room. Reportedly the coupled were late to pay for a cocaine shipment.

Rivi was interviewed from prison for the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys. According to the documentary, Rivi was attacked and stabbed in prison on the same day Griselda was released in 2004, "but refused to identify his attacker." 


(Image credit: Netflix)

For over a decade, there hasn't been any update in Rivi's bid for freedom. 2013 was seemingly the the last time the world heard anything about him, when he was 48-years-old. 

CBS reported in Aug 2013, that Rivi was seeking parole based on a verbal agreement of him cooperating exchange for a reduced sentence, which was allegedly made with prosecutors in 1993. The judge at the time, Circuit Judge Sanchez-Llorens, denied the request on the grounds the motion to reduce his incarceration had been filed 20 years too late. Rivi remains incarcerated and he is still serving time in the US, if he is ever released he will be deported to Colomia. 


(Image credit: Netflix)

Was Rivi’s phone sex scandal real?

If being the right-hand man to one of the most famous drug lords in history wasn’t already scandalous enough, the ending of Griselda deals with another headline-making moment for Rivi. 

Although in the show Rivi told Griselda he believed they were 'lovers in another life' he also said that in this lifetime he was not willing to take the death penalty for her, so instead ratted on her to the police once he was arrested. Then while in prison he seduced some of the secretaries from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and had phone sex with some of them from prison. 

This was entirely true! The Miami Herald reported that money, gifts, and photographs were also exchanged. This bizarre twist was thought to have weakened his case, as the hitman was informing against his former crime boss in the hopes of reaching a plea deal.

It's unclear if he really seduced the secretaries in order to assist Griselda (as the series suggests) or whether he was acting to help his own case - or if he was simply looking for a thrill while facing life imprisonment. 

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.