A: She was known to be a drug user. I don’t want to say an addict, but she was certainly a drug user. And, some sources say, in very much Tony Montana style, she started to use more drugs and get more paranoid as her time in Miami wore on
Q: In the making of either film, did you try reaching out to her?
A: In fact, on the first film, she was still in prison in Florida. Alfred (Spellman) wrote her numerous letters and was also in touch with her attorney at the time, Nathan Diamond. She chose not to participate. By the time of the second movie she was back in Colombia. We went to Michael (her youngest son, a South Florida resident now awaiting trial on a drug rap). He said she had seen the first movie and took exception to some of the material. What she was most upset about was that a grandchild of hers was in school in Colombia and a classmate had a bootleg DVD of Cocaine Cowboys, and a portable DVD player, and that’s how the grandson learned about his abuela.
Q: What was her relationship, if any, to Pablo Escobar?
A: One story goes that she was Pablo Escobar’s mentor. I have no evidence to substantiate that. I do know it is fair to say they knew each other from the time they were very young.
Q: What, ultimately, is Griselda’s impact on Miami?
A: On the one hand, the influx of billions in narco dollars at a very crucial time in the development of the town found its way into the infrastructure, both helping to build the city from a construction standpoint, but also helping to tear it down not just in the moral fiber but the political/ethical fiber. She also helped create a level of violence that is forever a part of our history in much the same way Chicago is remembered for the Prohibition era and Dodge City is remembered in the time of the Wild West. But as (former Miami Herald crime reporter) Edna Buchanan says, Dodge City was never as violent as Miami was in the 1980s.