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A Crime Syndicate Primer: Brazil’s ‘O Inimigo Dentro’ (‘The Enemy Within’)

How is it that the Crime Syndicate actors can hide under slimy rocks? Why is it that no one is really named? The reason is that this is systemic and international — and high level law enforcement and government is in on it.

There is a top-performing movie that I saw when I was in Brazil called “Tropa de Elite II-O Inimigo Dentro,” which translates to “The Enemy Within.” These enemies transcend far beyond the borders of Brazil. The film is too intelligent and spot on to be appreciated in the U.S., but it comes as close as anything can to describing the aspects of the Crime Syndicate that are currently in play. Plus, it’s a great action thriller. It is Brazil’s highest grossing film of all time.

The incredible and emotional ending scene is when the hero and white-hat colonel Nascimento (BOPE – Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais) calls out the Syndicate. I don’t think the U.S. has any Nascimentos left that would be given a pulpit like this. In the movie, even after the whistle blowing and some arrests within the sistema (system), the Syndicate carries on. In one scene one of the few political white hats, Diogo Fraga, faces up rather unsuccessfully to the crime chieftain. And the sistema just reinvents itself, which is aptly described by Nascimento as the film winds down.

“Tropa de Elite II (O Inimigo Dentro)” with English subtitles may be rented at Amazon or iTunes. I speak Portuguese, which enhances it for me — but I still rate it 10 for everyone, even in English. This is the movie’s trailer. 

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