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The Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Police Special Operations Battalion or BOPE) is a specialized unit for

patrols, combat and progression in confined and restricted places. It is one of the most efficient troops in urban combat of the world. It operates in extreme risk operations, whether in patrolling high-risk sites, fighting in places of difficult access, incursions into the favelas, hostage incidents localized events involving explosives, and situations of confrontation with drug dealers.


The BOPE was created on January 19, 1978 as Nucleus of the Society of Special Operations ( Nuco ) through a project

Agents of BOPE in training

developed and presented by the then Captain PM (military police) Paulo Cesar de Souza Amendola the Commander-General of PMERJ (Military police of Rio de Janeiro),Colonel of the Brazilian Army Mário José Sotero de Menezes. In 1982 he was elevated to the rank of Special Operations Company (Compania de Operações Especias or COE). Changing its name in 1984 to the Nucleus Independent Company of Special Operations (NuCIOE). In 1988 gained administrative autonomy to Independent company of Special Operations (CIOE). In 1991 it was transformed into a battalion, remaining still quartered in the Regiment Marshal Caetano de Farias, Headquarters of Shock Police Battalion, among other police units. In 2000 won an own headquarter, located in the Morro do Pereirão in the neighborhood of Laranjeiras. In southern part of Rio de Janeiro.

Progression in Favelas

This technique was developed in Brazil by BOPE, Police Special Operations Battalion of Military Police, by the need to act in the chaos of the narrow streets of the slums and favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The slums have become an area hostile to the police due to organized crime, And was a major obstacle for the police actions, because criminals usually have a privileged position itself strategically in the hills. The BOPE has earned the respect of foreign military units to act in these tough urban environments.


The armament of the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais consists of:

The Caveirão

The BOPE has armored vehicles, popularly known as "caveirões" (big skulls), used mainly in operations where there are conflicts with narcotraffickers who employ heavy weapons. The tanks have a capacity for a garrison of 12 men, and have their own weapons, and its power to fire up the guns of the garrison. The chassis used in vehicles is the same found in truck Ford Cargo 815, was considered inadequate by specialists, since the weight of the vehicle, complete with trim, overcomes the 8 tonnes gross weight for which the chassis was designed.

The main purpose of armor is to protect the lives of the elements of the garrison, and breaking down physical barriers used by narco-trafficking. The tanks are still essential in supporting the rescue of trapped and police units in the removal of injured of scenario of confrontation.

Currently, the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro has 22 armored vehicles distributed by several battalions of PMERJ at least four of them belong to BOPE.

The shield of the vehicle "caveirão "supports strong shots, like the 7.62 rifle, and submachine guns.


To join the BOPE, the candidate must be military police PMERJ at least two years, having an excellent fitness, as well as being adopted in the physical assessments, medical and psychological. Are offered two modes of travel for the two tasks of the unit:

  • Special Operations Course ( COEsp ), lasting three to six months, to prepare the police for assistance in conflict areas and the rescue of hostages.
  • Course of Action Tactics (CAT), lasting five weeks, which is a summary of the course of special operations.

See also