The Real Tropa de Elite

Operation Avalanche – Coronel Paulo Henrique Azevedo de Moraes, head of Bope, addressing 240 “caveiras” (skulls, meaning Bope troops) before heading into Complexo do Alemão this past Sunday. I’d say their excitement towards the end is about bringing peace but something tells me otherwise.

Shadow Soldiers: Brazil


National Geographic will be airing a documentary a la Elite Squad tonight at 9PM with correspondant British Chris Ryan (pictured). It is called Shadow Soldiers: Brazil. Here’s the description (and here’s the video introduction)…

“Chris Ryan travels to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where he spends a week training with and operating alongside BOPE, the Special Police Operations Battalion of Rio’s military police. The squad’s specialty is crime fighting in the city’s slums or favelas where they have to face armed and drugged up gangs of youths who protect a vast drug dealing network. Chris Ryan trains with the squad, learning techniques for fighting in the favelas before accompanying them on a real mission to confront a drug gang holed up in one of the city’s largest favelas. After a dramatic shootout in the streets of the favela, the BOPE unit succeeds in dispersing the drug gang and disrupting their drug dealing activities.”


I finally got a chance to check out “Shador Soldiers: Brazil” and learned that was just what National Geographic called it. The actual show is called “Chris Ryan’s Elite World Cops” and the host has extensive experience as a former member of the SEC, the British Special Forces.

The show itself, while entertaining, is a bit ‘softcore’ but I’m sure that was the plan all along, to take a journalist into a real battle might not end too well for the journalist. Plus, doing an easier mission allows BOPE (the Brazilian Special Forces) to show off their skills. Chris Ryan praised their methods highly and while he knows better than I do, I can’t help but wonder if he highly praises all teams he works with on his program. Then again, Special Forces units are supposed to be in top shape, so perhaps my point is moot.