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Here's a list of the characters that appear in both The Elite Squad and The Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. Please note that only the most important characters are listed.

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     Captain Nascimento 
Played by: Wagner Moura.

Roberto Nascimento, more commonly know as Captain Nascimento, is the main character in both films. In the first film, he's the commander of the Alpha Division of BOPE, and looking for someone to replace him so he can return to his family.In the sequel, after a scandal involving a prison riot gone wrong because of BOPE, Nascimento is Kicked Upstairs to become Minister of Defense, and is forced to "fight the system" from inside it.

  • Action Dad: His wife is waiting a child in the first movie and he is born half-way through. Its the reason why he wants to retire so that he can come back to his family in one piece.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Between his shaking and panic attacks, Nascimento refuses to accept that he suffers from an anxiety disorder.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: In the second movie after he is elevated to Minister of Defense.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Trading his police uniform for an executive suit hasn't slowed him down or made him soft.
  • The Chains of Commanding: They're really dragging him down.
  • Colonel Badass: He gets promoted to colonel following the first movie.
  • Cowboy Cop: Obviously, but it's actually a Deconstructed Trope; his job completely destroys his marriage and estranges him from his son, he doesn't appear to have many friends, and, by the end of the sequel, he sees that, for all he has fought and sacrificed, it didn't matter that much.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: When conducting the BOPE course. He actually discusses it, claiming that their training regime is actually tougher than Israel's, and it's necessary to form good BOPE officials.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: In the end of the prequel, he tries to get a mook to spill Baiano's location without having to hurt him. The idiot doesn't comply.
  • It's Personal: He already fights crime brutally in the first film, but after Neto dies, it becomes really personal for Nascimento and Matias.
    • Happens again in the sequel when Matias dies, which instigates Nascimento to throw himself deeper against the militia, and again when Rafael gets shot.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Involving slaps, kicks, punches, plastic bags, and brooms.
  • Kicked Upstairs / Rank Up: In the sequel, after a prison riot gone wrong because of BOPE, he's discharged from BOPE, but becomes Minister of Defense, which actually lets him help BOPE more than he ever could.
  • Knight In Sour Armor
  • Knight Templar: Actually deconstructed. His methods to enforce order are considered very brutal and considered fascistic for some, but they ended up costing him his loved ones and his careers by the time of the second movie.
  • I Have This Friend...: Invokes this when he goes to a psychatrist, fearful that, if he talks about all he has done on BOPE, the psychiatrist would have to report him. Even after she says that she wouldn't, he decides to not speak.
  • Last-Name Basis: When speaking to colleagues and when off-work. Only his wife gets to call him Beto.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: In the sequel, we learn that he had to come back, even after finding a substitute. It was the main reason why he and Rosa finally divorced.
  • Married to the Job: In the first film, this is the reason why he's looking for a substitute.
  • Papa Wolf: In the second movie, his son gets shot during a hit against Fraga. When he finds one of the corrupt politicians responsible for ordering the attack, its a sight to behold.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He's very fond of giving these, whether if its to criminals, civilian accomplices or trainees.
  • Rivals Team Up / Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He and Fraga in the sequel, when they try to take down the militia.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Rafael gets shot in the sequel.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Everyone does, but since he's the one that gets most of the screentime...
  • You Are Number 6: He refers to most of his subordinates by their numbers.

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     André Matias 
Played by: André Ramiro

The deuteragonist of the two movies. He is regular cop and an aspiring university student who aims to become a lawyer, but ends up joining BOPE and trained to become Nascimento's replacement when he decides to retire.

    Neto Gouveia 
Played by: Caio Junqueira

One of Nascimento's substitutes-in-training, he is Matias' childhood best friend.

  • Blood Knight: Nascimento mentions that Neto is attracted to action and war.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Shortly after graduating into BOPE, there is a short scene where he pays a tattoo artist to give him a "knife in the skull" symbol that represents the Elite Squad in his arm. When he is killed by Baiano and his thugs, they notice the tattoo and instantly crap themselves in terror when they realized they killed a BOPE member.
  • Jumped at the Call: He isn't very interested in working on a police garage or behind a desk doing paper work, which is why in the first opportunity he gets to join BOPE, he takes it.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Neto, being Hot-Blooded and all, nearly botches an invasion due to his recklessness.
  • Knight in Shining Armor / By-the-Book Cop: He is one at the start of the movie just like his best friend.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Matias wants to deliver Romerito's glasses in the favela, but since he himself can't go because of a job opportunity, Neto offers to go in his place, and dies in an ambush meant for his friend.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Neto's Red Oni to Matias' Blue Oni, being the most excitable and emotional of the group.
  • Salt and Pepper: With Matias.

     Captain Fábio Barbosa 
Played by: Milhem Cortaz

  • Butt-Monkey: Where do we even start: he is a Dirty Cop involved in prostitution and gambling up until his dealings are hijacked by a rival corrupt officer and he decides to join BOPE alongside Neto and Matias. He isn't tough enough for the training, gets beaten, berated and catches feet fungus before quitting. In the second movie, he is back to his old job and is promoted to Colonel, but is more or less the same spineless doofus as before. While he is technically Major Rocha's superior, he is bossed around by him and treated like a second fiddle.
  • The Dragon: Appears to be this for Rocha in the sequel, even when he's Rocha's superior.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of the main reasons why he's bossed around by everyone. Despite being corrupt, he isn't a monster like most of his colleagues, and outrights tells Rocha to leave Matias alone when the latter is transfered to their division. After Matias is killed by one of Rocha's men, Fabio salutes along with the rest of BOPE in Matias's funeral.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He is a crooked cop, but he never comes across as violent or cruel like other villains in the movies. He is instead treated as the Butt-Monkey. With that said, its hinted he becomes a Not-So-Harmless Villain at the end of the second movie when he kills Rocha and becomes leader of his operation.
  • Porn Stache: Grows one in the sequel. It actually makes him even funnier to watch.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: As seen in the second movie, the viewer may be lead to believe that he is actively a butt monkey for his inaction towards Rocha's bullying. However, the moment Rocha crosses the line by killing Matias he swiftly dispatches of him.
  • Took a Level in Badass / Throw the Dog a Bone: By the end of the sequel, he becomes the militia's leader.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Sure, he's not BOPE standards, but the man survived years being an absurdly dirty cop in the meat grinder that is Rio de Janeiro's underworld, Rocha forgets that, it doesn't end well for him .

     Baiano 
Played by: Fábio Lago.

The Big Bad of the first movie, and the favela's leader.

  • Action Dad: Becoming the favela's leader wasn't easy for him, and he has a child.
  • All There in the Manual: His real name is Cláudio Mendes de Lima. We never hear it in the movie.
  • Big Bad: Of the first movie.
  • Boom, Headshot!: His manner of death at the hands of Matias.
  • Cop Killer: After killing Neto he realizes he is screwed because now the BOPE will not stop until they find him and he tries to go into hiding. He doesn't make it out alive.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes / Empty Eyes: Has these, probably side-effects of the drugs and paranoia.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As long as you're playing by his rules, you're fine. If you're not...
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Says this when he's hiding. BOPE attacks seconds later.
  • Mood-Swinger: He goes from calm and friendly to murderous and intimidating REALLY fast.
  • Mugging the Monster: Had he knew that Neto was a BOPE member, he likely would not have killed him and called their wrath down on him.
  • Mysterious Past: Nascimento says that he doesn't know how his story starts, and suspects that Baiano's only choice in life was to become a drug dealer. We never discover it, either.
  • Not in the Face!: Pleads for this when BOPE finally gets him. Matias doesn't comply.
  • Pet the Dog: He has a wife and child, and really cares about them.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has a massive one when he discovers that Neto, the cop he killed, is from BOPE.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Baiano.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Despite being a brutal gangster, Baiano has a soft spot for children and orders his men to avoid bringing a boy to a shootout.

     Lieutenant/Major Rocha 
Played by: Sandro Rocha

The Big Bad of the second movie, and the militia's leader.

  • Ascended Extra / Chekhov's Gunman / From Nobody to Nightmare: He was a minor police officer that appeared on one scene in the first movie, but becomes the main antagonist and militia's leader in the sequel.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: While he is the primary and most direct antagonist in the second movie, the corrupt politicians also facilitate his dealings and are just as important in bringing down as Rocha.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Rocha is technically Fábio's subordinate, but he is pretty much running the whole operation by himself.
  • Dirty Cop: The militia's composed of these, and he's their leader.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: The reason why he rose in power in the second movie is that after BOPE removed most of druglords from the slums, Rocha and his corrupt cops walked right to fill the gap.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He is a sociopathic monster who will not hesitate to kill you if he feels like it, but he can put a friendly facade while partying with his cohorts.
  • Karmic Death: After bossing Fabio, killing Matias, and having Rafael shot, he is killed in the end of the sequel, probably by Fabio himself.
  • Kick the Dog: Twice. First, ordering one of his men to kill Matias In the Back, when the latter starts to confront him. Later, when two journalists get too close to the truth about the militia, he tortures, rapes, and then kills them.
  • Killed Offscreen: Rocha gets killed by Fábio, though we don't see him die - only his dead body afterwards.
  • The Heavy: He does almost all the work his superior, Colonel Fábio, doesn't.
  • Large and in Charge: Rocha is a very stout and commanding individual.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kills Matias in front of Fábio, which is beyond stupid, considering how Fábio views Matias .
  • The Sociopath: The worst in the duology.
  • The Unfought: He attempts to kill Nascimento towards the climax, but fails and gets routed. Next time we see him, he has been executed by Fábio.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: He has very pale blonde-hair and a notably cruel and heartless dirty cop. Unlike most examples of this trope he isn't a pretty boy, but a square, large and intimidating brute of a man.

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    Diogo Fraga 
Played By: Irandhir Santos
A human rights activist and a history teacher that becomes highly critical of BOPE's methods. He has a extremely frisky relationship with Nascimento, not helped by the fact that his ex-wife married Fraga.

  • Character Filibuster: His Establishing Character Moment is an speech towards an class about the state of prisons, with an very leftist bias to establish his political affiliation and conflict with Nascinmento.
  • Foil: To Nascimento. Fraga is a pacifist who believes that negotiations can solve any issue and violence is never the answer.
  • Interrupted Cooldown Hug: A non-monstrous variation of this trope at any rate: Fraga is introduced in the second movie to defuse a prison uprising and manages to convince the leader to surrender. Unfortunately, Matias interrupts the negotiation with his troops due to carelessness and ruins the negotiations.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fraga was explicitly based on Marcelo Freixo, a real life leftist congressman from Rio de Janeiro with similar background as an history teacher/activist that also dealt with corrupt militias and helped expose politicians involved with them.
  • Straw Liberal: He is set up as one, being definitely left-leaning and extremely critical of the protagonists' extreme brutality. He turns out to be a subversion as he is never really proven wrong about it: if Matias had not disobeyed Nascimento's orders during the prison uprising at the start of the movie, the bloodbath could have been avoided and many of the events of the movie wouldn't have happened. He ultimately turns out to be integral in helping Nascimento in exposing the corrupt politicians at the end of the movie.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Nascimento considers him to be one.

    Gregorio Fortunato 
Played By: André Mattos

A state representative and TV pundit that hosts his own show.

  • Bait the Dog: A variation: Given his disdain for human rights and approving brutal methods against criminals, one would expect he'd be aligned with Nascimento and BOPE, though it turns out, he is just another crooked politician.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: With Rocha in the second movie as Fortunato benefits from his actions.
  • Corrupt Politician: He provides cover for Rocha's militia so they can ensure all the criminal gangs that rival them are cleaned and in turn, his voterbase is secured.
  • Hypocrite: In his very first scene, he is featured in his tv show chastising the government for allowing criminals to steal weapons right under the police department... Except the guns were stolen by his secret associates as part of his own plan to advance in power.
  • Large Ham: In-universe, as part of his tv show.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He is sent to prison at the end of the movie.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Generally speaking, he was based on several politicians that employed militias or were involved with them somehow, but his antics in particular were very similar to Wagner Montes, another real-life politician that hosted his own TV show and was popular for acting over-the-top in the same way as Fortunato - even their catchphrases were similar. That is the only thing they have in common though, as Montes was never associated with militias in any way.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He seems like a very entertaining guy from his first scene, but then its revealed he is in cohorts with Rocha and indirectly responsible for many of his atrocities.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Subverted. When Nascimento exposes him in the hearing for being involved with the militias, he simply gets up... And calmly walks away with his back turned. He doesn't even appear angry in prison, merely resigned to his fate.
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