WITH his distinctive squeaky high-pitched voice and boyish looks Jorge ‘Rivi’ Ayala made an unlikely hitman.
Wikimedia CommonsJorge ‘Rivi’ Ayala was the cold-blooded hitman for Griselda Blanco[/caption]
Dubbed the godmother of cocaine, Griselda Blanco is said to have committed murder aged 11, held bisexual orgies, and killed her three husbands
Jorge and his deadly crew executed a couple in their home while their children watched TV in the next room and also shot dead a two-year-old during a revenge hit on one of his gang’s rivals.
Cops reckon he was involved in as many as three dozen murders during the height of the cocaine wars in Miami during the 1980’s.
When detectives finally caught up with him Jorge was only too happy to spill the beans on his evil boss to escape the death penalty.
His evidence should have condemned Griselda – thought to have ordered over 250 murders – to the electric chair.
But “charming” Jorge couldn’t contain his love of women and wrecked the case against her by having phone sex with three secretaries who worked in the state attorney’s office.
It allowed one of the world’s most twisted women to escape with second degree murder charges.
Jorge’s story will feature in new Netflix show Griselda, which stars Sofia Vergara as the female kingpin.
The Modern Family actress, 51, spent two hours in make-up every day to transform herself into the ruthless gangster.
NetflixSofia Vergara as Miami drug lord Griselda Blanco in a new biopic[/caption]
APA cocaine seizure in Culver City, California in 1985[/caption]
Jorge was the head of Griselda’s army of killers, dubbed the Cocaine Cowboys, who helped her keep control of the Miami drugs scene.
Nicknamed ‘Riverita’ after a Colombian cartoon character with a high pitched voice, he told police even he was shocked by Griselda’s lust for killing.
Born in Columbia in 1957, Ayala immigrated to Chicago with his parents as a child.
His dad took a job with General Motors and managed to get his son a position working alongside him as a mechanic, but Jorge had other ideas.
He was raking in cash smuggling illegal migrants into the US and in 1979 took a job running a truck full of guns from Chicago to Miami.
Drawn by the city’s bright lights and glamour, Jorge never went back home.
He made a name for himself as a small-time enforcer collecting debt and soon came to the attention of Griselda.
The Colombian drug queen was among the most most deadly gangsters of the Miami drug wars of the 1980s, whose most treasured possession was a gold-plated, emerald-studded sub-machine gun.
She was thought to have smuggled 3,400lb of coke into America, raking in £63 MILLION A MONTH, and she lived a life of luxury owned a mansion in California and a penthouse in Florida.
She was also a quick-tempered drug addict, she would stop at nothing to keep her criminal empire on track.
In 1982, Griselda ordered Jorge to take out her one-time enforcer Jesus ‘Chucho’ Castro, who she took against when he kicked her son Michael out of his house.
Jorge pulled up alongside Chucho’s car as he tried to get onto a highway in South Miami and fired an M16.
He missed Chucho but a bullet killed his two-year-old son, Johnny who was sleeping on his shoulder as he drove.
Devastated Chucho, then 44, bathed and clothed his son before adorning him with roses, wrapping him in sheets and dropping him at a local police station with a note.
He was too scared to speak to police because he was wanted on trafficking charges.
Jorge later told police how Griselda was behind the killing.
PANew Netflix show charts Griselda’s rise to infamy[/caption]
He said: “At first Blanco was real mad ‘cause we missed the father but when she heard we had gotten the son by accident, she said she was glad that they were even.”
Kids spared as parents slaughtered
Three months later in May 1982, Ayala was ordered to kill drug-dealing couple Alfredo and Grizel Lorenzo who owed Griselda a $250,000 debt for cocaine. They were shot dead as their three children watched TV in the next room.
Jorge later told police that Griselda had wanted the kids dead too but he managed to keep them safe.
The hitman was also involved in the killings of eleven members of a rival gang in New York.
Griselda sent him to the Big Apple to murder everyone working for her former henchman Pap Mejia, who supposedly stole from her in the early days of cocaine dealing.
Describing the job in the 2006 documentary film Cocaine Cowboys, Jorge said: “From the stashers to the hitmen – 11 people, they all got killed. In less than 24 hours. It was supposed to be 12 but I let one go.”
He once told state prosecutors that in 1981 he accepted $50,000 for killing a man for Giselda in front of her then three-year-old son Michael.
Despite his own penchant for violence, Jorge claimed even he was left sickened by Griselda.
He told Cocaine Cowboys Griselda once showed up at his house and revealed she had dumped a dismembered murder victim on the way .
He said: “She started telling me how she’s killed this guy and chopped him up into little pieces while we were having dinner … I shot him and (two associates) cut him up and put him in a small box and wrapped him up like a gift with a little bow on top and we left him a couple of blocks from here on a turnpike.’
“She said ‘we were coming south to visit you so we figured it was the best place to drop him off.’ I said to the guys she was with ‘did she do that?’ and they said ‘yeah, she likes it, she likes us to cut people up and just throw them like that’.”
Police caught up with Jorge in 1998 after linking him to a bank robbery in Chicago.
By this time Griselda had been behind bars for 13 years in New York for cocaine trafficking.
She was about to be handed over to Florida authorities when Jorge was arrested.
Prosecutors in Miami offered him a deal. If he turned witness against Griselda he would get a prison instead of a death sentence.
Jorge turned snitch to save his own bacon.
But the state’s star witness ran into trouble behind bars.
An investigation revealed he was engaging in phone sex with three secretaries in the Miami State Attorney’s Office.
The women had also swapped pictures with the smooth-talker who sent them money and gifts.
AlamyGriselda was eventually jailed over her crimes[/caption]
AlamyShe was shot dead by an assassin upon her release[/caption]
One secretary claimed she was under orders from the then prosecutor Cathy Vogel to “flirt” with Jorge and keep him happy – but the lawyer has always denied the claim.
The women were fired and Griselda’s lawyers ruled Jorge was an unreliable witness and unable to give evidence that would necessitate the death penalty.
Griselda took a plea deal to admit three counts of second degree murder and was given 20 years for each to run concurrently.
Yet Griselda is believed responsible for 250 contract killings and was behind the deaths of her three husbands.
It’s believed she had her first love, a pimp called Carlos Trujillo, shot over a business dispute.
She killed her second Alberto after pulling a pistol from her ostrich-skin boot in a row over drugs money in a car park in 1975.
When her third husband Dario Sepulveda, a well-known bank robber, slept with eight strippers she had them killed. When he left her in 1983 she arranged his execution.
As queen of the thriving cocaine scene in 1980s Miami, she reigned supreme – crushing opposition with ruthless efficiency.
The devastation she and other drug lords left behind in the brutal wars became the inspiration for the TV cop show Miami Vice.
Life behinds bars led to a deterioration in health and, after suffering a heart attack in 2004, Griselda was released and deported to Medellin, Columbia where she lived a quiet life for eight years – before dying the way she lived.
She was shot dead outside a butcher shop by a motorbike assassin in September 2012.
Jorge is still in prison. If he is ever released he too will be deported to Columbia.
Griselda streams on Netflix on January 25Leave a comment