Elite special unit Falcon Group

The videos have dramatic titles — FALCON GROUP IN ACTION IN SPECTACULAR RAID. They’re well produced, relying on drones and POV camera shots to create maximum effect. They depict men in masks kicking down doors and making the hand movement that would accompany the words “GO GO GO, LET’S MOVE!” in an action movie.

But they’re not action movies. They are videos documenting the operations of the Falcon Special Operations Brigade (División Especial de Seguridad Halcón), commonly known as Group Falcon, the special forces unit of the Buenos Aires province Police.

Looks like a video game but it's actually a shot from a Grupo Halcon video
Looks like a video game but it’s actually a still from one of Grupo Halcon’s documentary videos


The latest recruitment campaign video for this “enigmatic” group, however, takes things to the next level. The video, titled FALCON IS ACTION, comes across as a hastily thrown together Michael Bay action film, all fast cuts, camouflage gear, Glocks and truck convoys cruising over the horizon. Playing in the background is Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses, punctuated by the occasional deep breaths and explosions (sharp inhaleBOOM!). The commandos repeatedly knock down doors with heavy weapons screaming POLICIA POLICIA before filing in in a semi crouched position. At one point, they line up on the street, decked out in heavy security vests, holding weapons, and the camera slowly pans passed them, like at the start of a football match.

What kind of people is the government trying to recruit?

On the Security Ministry website, “decency and morality” are listed as key selection criteria, but the video suggests they’re after people with illusions of grandeur and a predilection for smashing things and putting their knee in the back of people lying face down on the ground.

"Welcome to the jungle Feel my, my, my, serpentine , Wow, I, I wanna hear you scream"
“Welcome to the jungle/ Feel my, my, my, serpentine/ Wow, I, I wanna hear you scream”

Moreover, as many of pointed out, the song choice, that screamy, stressed-out, hard rock Guns n Roses classic about either Moving to LA/Or having barely consensual sex with a “very sexy girl,” is a little, um, let’s say aggressive.

Welcome to the jungle/We take it day by day/If you want it you’re gonna bleed!

In Decline

For all the hype, recent reports suggest that the special force group is in a state of decline. The equipment they work with is up to 15 years old and poorly maintained. Their flashlights, for instance, aren’t anything special, instead purchased at the supermarket. In September, an operative was shot in the face and killed during one of their infamous “forced” entries in La Matanza.

What’s more, the videos, which attempt to create the image of a slick, machine-like unit of human weapons, fall a little flat. The “spectacular” raids seem to have very anti-climactic finales. On one, for instance, the police dramatically kick down the door and file in with their guns poised, but the only person in the house (which doesn’t really look like a drug-chieftain’s den, but more like middle-class homes in the outer suburbs, with paintings and knick knacks and children’s toys) is a young woman holding a child on her hip. The Police push past her dramatically before commencing to rifle through cupboards and search under the bed, eventually zooming in on a handful of mobile phones. The initial haul is unimpressive: on a table, a small pile of pesos, sitting in front of some Paco Rabanne perfume.

Mother and child during a raid
Mother and child during a raid

Obviously, the song “Welcome to the jungle”, which makes reference to buying drugs (“If you got the money, honey, we got your disease”) and falling into sin and perhaps dying (“Watch it bring you to your knees, knees …It’s gonna bring you down-HA!) was chosen more for its frenetic, bad-boy sound than for the lyrics. But perhaps if they’d listened a little closer, they would have gone with something  more appropriate.

If you want it you’re gonna bleed
But it’s the price you pay
And you a very sexy girl
That’s very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights
But you won’t get them for free
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my, serpentine
Wow, I, I wanna hear you scream