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Maritza Ramos was formerly an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is portrayed by Diane Guerrero. In Season Six, after the riot, she was being held in another prison facility, most likely FDC Cleveland, but was then released. In Season Seven, she is being held in the ICE facility in Litchfield. She grew up being told that she was born in the United States, but during her imprisonment at the ICE center she found out that was actually brought from Colombia as an infant by her mother and was undocumented. She was deported to Colombia.
Maritza is portrayed as feisty, silly, and ignorant. This shows itself most obviously through one-liners and insults, most of which she shares with her best friend, Flaca.
Despite being a manipulative con-artist, she is not necessarily cruel. Sometimes, however, the jokes she makes with Flaca become bullying.
In a flashback sequence in "We’ll Always Have Baltimore", a used-car dealer observed that she had a lot of knowledge of cars, such as torque-to-weight ratios of various sports cars (knowledge one would expect of a mechanic or automobile enthusiast).
Frequently underestimated because of her small size and beauty (and exacerbated by her deliberate attempts to play dumb), she is actually a fast thinker. She remains calm during a crisis and is able to solve problems at pivotal moments. For example, she caused the sadistic guard, Thomas Humphrey, to drop his weapon during the middle of a riot despite her fear of him and the surrounding chaos. In addition, while transporting the guards to their houses away from the main camp, she makes up a fast lie to prevent her outside connect from getting caught transporting product out of the prison.
Humor and sarcasm appears to be her typical coping mechanism, and this comes out most often when she’s with Flaca. She becomes depressed, more reserved and stops making jokes after her traumatic experience with CO Humphrey ("Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull").
Maritza has a youthful appearance and petite figure. She is short and has black, chest-length hair. She is also commonly seen wearing winged eyeliner.
For a list of episodes featuring Maritza's flashbacks, see here.
Maritza was born in 1990 in Colombia. She moved to the US when she was too young to remember anything before, and grew up in East New York. She has a young daughter, named Juliana Fernanda Ramos, who is currently living with female relatives.
After moving to the United States, Maritza once visited her relatives in Colombia and witnessed a public stoning.
It was revealed in flashbacks that Maritza has a history of brazen scams that relied on her ability to distract and manipulate men. Maritza worked as a waitress at a club, where she would scam male clubbers by "accidentally" dropping a vodka bottle (actually filled with water) and blame them for bumping her, and then pocket the cash they would give her to pay for it. While working, Maritza meets a man named Tavi who introduces her to a more lucrative scam; he takes her to a sports car dealership, and tells her to find an older, wealthy man, pose as a salesperson and get his ID; later, she will steal the car in his name. On her first day, Maritza chooses Edward Spencer, an older divorcee, and pretends to work at the dealership while seducing him, persuading him to test drive a car. She takes his ID and takes it over to the test-drive desk, where a man at a desk gives Maritza the keys after she pretends to be Edward's wife. Maritza takes Edward to the car, but the worker from the desk unexpectedly accompanies them on the test drive. After strategizing for a while, Maritza decides to make her move after the two men begin chatting and holes start to appear in Maritza's story (as Edward believes her to be an employee and the employee believes her to be Edward's wife). She pretends to feel sick and makes Edward pull over, when she exits the car onto the verge. As the man and Edward come over to check on Maritza, she runs back to the car, which still has the keys inside, and speeds off ("We'll Always Have Baltimore"). Presumably, this incident is what caused her arrest.
Maritza is first introduced in the episode "Tit Punch" in the Spanish Harlem dorms. Maritza confronts Daya with much animosity claiming that she is Aleida's prison daughter and calls Daya "puta" while giving her the evil eye.
In "The Chickening", Maritza plays dominoes with Aleida, Gloria, and Flaca. They spot Red looking for The Chicken and Maritza tells the others that birds can be used to sneak in over $1,000 worth of drugs into the prison. Flaca and Maritza leave the game to look for the potential drugs in the chicken to score some cash. Gloria trails them, amused by the idea, and Aleida is left dumbfounded by the girls' foolishness.
In "WAC Pack", Maritza is shortly seen watching the television in the Rec Room with Flaca before Taystee rowdily walks in. Maritza is later seen walking with Aleida and Gloria when Daya aggressively slaps her mother. As Flaca and Maritza listen to music in the Rec Room, Flaca changes the station claiming reggaeton is repetitive and gives her a headache. Maritza calls The Smiths, pussy music which leads to a heated argument about which radio station is better.
After deciding to run for the Women’s Advisory Council to represent the Hispanic group, Maritza shares her slogan with the others, "If you want more pizza, vote for Martiza". After the others sitting at the lunch table laugh at her silly slogan, Maritza disputes that pizza is "American and shit". Flaca argues that pizza is Italian and calls her an idiot before announcing that she is going to run for WAC herself. Maritza teases Flaca with a slighting slogan, "Vote for Flaca, puta's full of caca." Offended by Maritza's comment, Flaca hits her before Aleida is able to prevent it. Gloria tells them calm down claiming it doesn't matter who wins. Flaca then makes an ignorant comment about black people leading the girls to talk about black boys' "trouser meat". They end up laughing and becoming rowdy prompting the entire cafeteria to become loud and wild.
Maritza is shown being discouraged for the WAC election as Flaca successfully rallies the Latino audience with her "Tuesday Tacos" speech. When the speeches come to an end, the inmates create a dance circle and Maritza is seen dancing among the inmates. Maritza and Flaca are both disappointed when Maria Ruiz is announced as the WAC representative despite her lack of a campaign.
When Maria goes into labour in "Moscow Mule", Maritza gives her a pineapple soda because Aleida once ate an entire pineapple to ease her into labour.
She, like the other Latina women, eventually accepts Daya into their fold. Maritza is almost always seen with Flaca, her best friend in prison.
She and Flaca audition for the Christmas pageant but are not accepted.
When Gloria assumes control of the kitchen, Maritza is seen working there. She attempts to blackmail Bennett for privileges in exchange for not revealing Daya's pregnancy, but he tires of this and eventually sends Maritza to the SHU.
A flashback reveals that she and Flaca teased Suzanne for her stage fright at the Christmas pageant in the previous season, unknowingly triggering her psychotic break.
In "You Also Have a Pizza", in the darkened kitchen, a drunk Flaca and Maritza sit on a counter. With a paper penis stuck to her head, Maritza gets serious. She and Flaca are wasting their best years behind bars. Flaca offers to kiss Maritza, and plants a quick one on her as they both giggle. When Maritza asks for another kiss, Flaca obliges, except this time things get intense. They kiss pretty passionately for a few moments, and then both pull away and break out in laughter. They both agree not to go there again. Martiza pulls Flaca in for a hug instead.
Maritza gets a visit from her daughter Juliana in "Mother's Day".
Maritza continues to work with the other Latinas in the kitchen. During the episode "Tongue-Tied" she cuts part of her pinky off while in the kitchen. Flaca gets a work reassignment to the Whispers Lingerie factory, which separates her and Maritza, something that is seen to cause her distress. Later, both start to participate in Piper's used panties business.
When Season Four begins, Maritza is still the prison van driver. Despite Pennsatucky and Boo's worry, she has not been abused by Coates. She is, however, occasionally sexually harassed by some of the new Litchfield guards while driving.
Maria uses Maritza's position to smuggle panties out of the prison and, after the panty-smuggling business is shut down, to smuggle drugs into the prison. Maritza is initially successful, using her charm to fool the guards, until she rouses the suspicion of CO Humphrey, who is later revealed to be able to speak Spanish. Aware that their position has been compromised, Maritza rouses the rest of the guards' suspicion about the "gardener" of the COs' houses (who is really Maria's cousin who transports the drugs to Litchfield) and shuts down the drug business.
However, Humphrey is later shown to have sociopathic tendencies and, after hearing Maritza and Flaca playing "Would You Rather", he uses his position of power to torture Maritza one day, forcing her into his house and making her choose, at gunpoint, between eating ten dead flies or a live baby mouse. Maritza had previously chosen the mouse whilst playing with Flaca and is therefore forced to eat it, later shown to be trying to throw it up in the bathroom back at camp. COs McCullough and Stratman overhear her and question it, wondering whether Humphrey has something to do with it, but ultimately convince themselves out of pursuing the matter.
When Maritza eventually decides to tell Flaca about what happened, Flaca says that they must take action but Maritza says to let him pass. While Maritza and Flaca are in the bathroom preparing for the interview they are supposed to do for Poussey's death, they hear how the White Power Group began to arm themselves because of the insecurity of the place. She decides to inform Maria about it.
In the revolt she pushes CO Humphrey, throwing his pistol at the feet of Dayanara.
During the riot "Flaritza" make a YouTube channel and gain many fans. During the end of the riot, Maritza records Flaca being pressed against a wall saying, "This is how they treat us all the time." She immediately posts the video.
In the season finale, Maritza and Flaca are split up and they are unaware of their new destinations. They are very upset by this but Maritza reassures Flaca by saying "I love you."
Maritza is not seen this season, as it is revealed by Flaca that she was taken to another prison 1500 miles away.
Maritza is first seen in "Just Desserts", revealing that she was released from the prison she was taken to in Season Five as a result of the riot. She meets a minor NBA player at a bar and they go back to his place to have sex. After a couple of days with him, he offers to take her to Los Angeles where he lives and plays ball, but she says she has to think about it. She does not reveal to him that she can’t accept his offer because she is on parole and cannot leave the state.
Later in the episode, she is in the same bar when an ICE raid takes place. She is unable to produce a valid ID, and is arrested. She is then taken to an immigration center operated by PolyCon Corrections. There she reunites with Blanca ("And Brown Is the New Orange"). She bemoans how she was so close to moving in with an NBA player and could have taken his offer.
In "How to Do Life", she reunites with Flaca, who is working in the kitchen at the detention center.
She attempts to call using the ICE booths, but is unable to due to them being broken. She attempts to send a letter, which is met with the same fate.
Maritza gets caught giving an immigration attorney hotline number to her fellow detainees, and is deported to Colombia at the end of Episode 5, "Minority Deport”. We watch as she is led onto a plane by an armed ICE guard, then fades away with all the other women on board.
- "If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza."
- — Maritza Ramos
- "Everyone likes pizza. It's American and shit."
- — Maritza Ramos
- "And you also have a pizza."
- — Maritza Ramos to Flaca about love
- "My mother taught me to pluck my eyebrows and to duct-tape my tits together."
- — Maritza Ramos
- "If I hadn't buried my feelings so deep that they only come up when I watch Stepmom, I'd totally be tearing up right now."
- — Maritza Ramos
- "If I get too skinny my ass goes flat."
- — Maritza Ramos
- "Who's karma? Is that the new girl?"
- — Maritza Ramos ("We'll Always Have Baltimore")
- "That's my color. I'm wearing it."
- — to Flaca in ("Bed Bugs and Beyond)"
- "B*tch, I was born here. I committed my crime legally."
- — to Karla in ("And Brown Is the New Orange)"
- Flaca Gonzales (best friend; kissed) - They share a kiss, but they both agree not to go there again.
- Flaca Gonzales (best friend; kissed) - See Flaritza for more information. They share a kiss, but they both agree not to go there again.
- Aleida Diaz (prison mother figure) - Maritza is first seen in Aleida's bunk; when Daya asks who she is, she claims to be Aleida's daughter.
- Dayanara Diaz (friend; questionable) - Although rough at the start, Daya and Maritza are shown to be friends, however this can be shown to be fake when Daya says she "doesn't even like the bitch".
- Gloria Mendoza (friend) - Gloria is shown to be caring towards Maritza.
- Maria Ruiz (friend) - Maria shows to be friendly towards Maritza, however after Maritza chickens out on the business in Season Four, she starts to bully her.
- Ramona Pidge
- Blanca Flores
- Thomas Humphrey (abusive CO) - Humps becomes suspicious of Maritza when she smuggles panties and drugs using the van. One day, Humps hears Flaca and Maritza talking about what they would rather do, eat ten flies or a live baby mouse. Humps takes Maritza to his house and sadistically forces her to play the game in real life using a gun resulting in Maritza vomiting over the next couple of days. During the riot, Maritza pushes Humps which forces him to drop his gun and leads to Dayanara shooting him in the leg. Maritza gets her revenge and aggressively kicks him as he lays on the floor bleeding out.
- Frieda Berlin
- Juliana-Fernanda Ramos (daughter) - While in the kitchen, Maritza mentions her daughter staying with some female relatives. Maritza celebrates her daughter's first birthday in prison. On Mother's Day, Maritza holds her daughter while she talks about motherhood with Maria until her daughter has an accident and hands her off to Blanca in disgust.
- With 57 episodes, Maritza has the highest episode count out of all recurring characters that were never part of the main cast.
- She once went on a Valentine's Day date with a Wall Street guy who flew her in a helicopter to D.C., as mentioned by her in "You Also Have a Pizza".
- She is one of the several characters who appeared in all of the episodes of a season they weren't credited as a regular in.
- The hotline number Maritza distributes to other detainees in “Minority Deport” is a real number. Read more about it here: “The Immigration Hotline in OITNB Is Real — and So Is the Trouble Surrounding It” However, the hotline has now been shut down by ICE after the release of the episode.
- Despite her mother telling her she was born in America, she was actually born in Colombia.
|Orange Is the New Black: Season One|
|"I Wasn't Ready":||"Tit Punch":||"Lesbian Request Denied":||"Imaginary Enemies":||"The Chickening":||"WAC Pack":||"Blood Donut":|
|"Moscow Mule":||"Fucksgiving":||"Bora Bora Bora":||"Tall Men with Feelings":||"Fool Me Once":||"Can't Fix Crazy":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|