When the cartels first expanded into Bolivia, local law enforcement did not have the resources or manpower to be effective in combating them. In response, the government created La Unidad, a special operations/military police force formed with the strongest and most aggressive troops of Bolivia’s military, to expunge them from the country. Months of bloody fighting saw the cartel firmly entrenched in Bolivia, however, despite Unidad's best efforts and a considerable death toll among the civilian population. Unidad multiplied the degree of violence across the country; its operations turning villages into war zones. Entire provinces became no man’s land, and chaos spread.
Eventually, unwilling to stomach the continued loss of innocent life among the people he swore to protect, Unidad's leader Major General Baro arranged a truce with Santa Blanca: In return for permitting the cartel to operate unmolested in Bolivia, Santa Blanca would cease targeting innocent civilians and put an end to the violence.
Unfortunately for Baro, the results of the truce have not been as intended and had mixed results. Santa Blanca's campaign of targeted assassinations, "disappearances" and other acts of violence against the Bolivian population have not abated. Worst still, significant elements of Unidad have fallen prey to the cartel's corruption, actively participating in the drug trade they were established to crush the cartel.
Today, as the collaboration between the government and the cartel leads to the establishment of a growing narco-state, Unidad oversees and monitors the cartel’s operations and controls the local population to fight off the rebellion. A precarious peace emerged between the cartel and Unidad, one that a single spark of violence could turn into war.
Unidad’s primary main objectives are to suppress the rebellion and to keep Santa Blanca in check. Their lethal arsenal and overall hostility make them one of the country’s most dangerous threats. Unidad has spread its influence all over the country through different types of infrastructures, such as outposts that are present in most provinces to control the local area’s rebel activities and drug production.
To maintain control of the country’s civilian and rebel population, Unidad uses a large array of ground vehicles, including off-road buggies, AMVs, APCs, and military bikes. Moreover, Unidad truly dominates the airspace and with gunships, transports and special operations helicopters, they patrol the world with an omniscient presence of their aerial and ground assets.
Unidad's main role is to protect the President's secret. This includes assassinating whistle-blowers, journalists, snitches, or anyone who could reveal the truth. They also collect payments from the cartels. Most of it goes to high-level politicians in the President's cabinet, but it is also used to bribe customs officials, journalists, and local police.
Additionally, Unidad keeps an eye on the cartels, making sure they do not attack each other. But it also means ensuring the cartels keep their end of the bargain - keeping cocaine out of Bolivia, and never allowing anyone to find out what's really happening.
Last but not least is border control. Since Unidad is fully in charge, it is not difficult to restrict visitors or keep them separated. The problem comes when high-profile visitors arrive, like politicians or documentary crews. That is usually when "accidents" happen.
Conspiracy of Silence
Civilians avoid Unidad as much as they can because nothing ever gets investigated. Even making a report is dangerous. It is common knowledge that Unidad works with the cartels, but no one dares to admit it. They control people with fear. But they are quieter than Santa Blanca. People go missing, and are never found.
Corruption and tensions with the cartel
After peace was made, corruption ran rampant in Unidad. Officers would be paid to do the cartels' work and others would use the cartel as informants. Eventually, tensions between the cartel and Unidad began to get hot. General Baro attempted to persuade the government to take action, but the politicians, on the side of the cartel, had it stopped. The Ghosts managed to get the general on their side and got him to help them fight the cartel.
The corruption problem had gotten out of control to the point where Unidad began to resemble a criminal organization much like Santa Blanca but much worse than them. Unlike Santa Blanca, Unidad has the resources of a modern military and the power of total control over the whole region. The corruption eroded Unidad to the point of borderline collapse. Numerous commanders have more power than they should, and there are plenty of examples. El Commandante, a lieutenant, is not a high ranking officer, but wields the power of a "legend" due to his ties with Santa Blanca. This increases Unidad's criminal reputation greatly.
Unidad has two main operating bases, seven forward operating bases, and several observation posts, combat outposts, and checkpoints across Bolivia.
- M.O.B. Jaguar, main operating base of Unidad in Flor De Oro.
- M.O.B. Condor, main heliport and airfield in Media Luna.
- F.O.B. Armadillo, controls the eastern border of Itacua.
- F.O.B. Buitre, a base for Unidad helicopter patrols.
- F.O.B. Oso Hormiguero, monitors the oil fields in Libertad.
- F.O.B. Puma, oversees cartel activities in Remanzo.
- F.O.B. Serpiente, protects the Unidad penitentiary in Flor de Oro.
- F.O.B. Tucan, monitors the Villa Verde province with patrols.
- F.O.B. Víbora, coordinates the campaign against the rebellion from La Cruz.
In the second DLC, La Unidad makes an alliance with a mercenary group called Los Extranjeros to eliminate CIA agents in Bolivia after a data leak compromised their operations in Bolivia. Unidad provided their troops to the group to carry out their dirty work and looked the other way as the mercenary group ravaged Bolivia and restarted the cocaine production left behind by Santa Blanca. An Unidad officer was bribed by the mercenary group to allow the group to carry out the cocaine production and chaos in the region. They now are mostly armed with M4A1s.
La Unidad, if alerted, will hunt the Ghosts until they escape their search. There are 4 levels each with more dangerous Unidad units.
- Level 1: The easiest to escape. Unidad will call in reinforcements consisting of Unidad pickup trucks.
- Level 2: Unidad Armored SUV and 4x4 trucks with mounted miniguns will appear.
- Level 3: Spawns 2 AH-6 Little Birds support helicopters as well as lower level Unidad units.
- Level 4: Replaces the AH-6 support helicopters with AH-1W SuperCobra "Whiskey Cobra" gunships. Vehicles will include Terradyne Gurkha LAPVs and LAV III IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles).
La Unidad Troops
Riflemen are the most common of La Unidad soldiers. They use cover whenever possible, moving between them to get the right shot. If you flee them or attack from afar, they may enter a vehicle and chase you down. Spotted by any of Unidad soldier will mean that their units will continue to hunt you untill you've lost them, so stealth is more important than dealing with Santa Blanca. They wear full black armors with red lines and helmet resembles the models used by Russian riot police units, visors are sometimes down.
When marked a purple arrow sign will appear.
Heavy Gunners are well armored and armed with LMGs. Their armored ballistic helmets can sometimes make them more resistant to headshots. They slowly progress toward the player, shooting long bursts that inflict a lot of damage. They discharge suppressive fire, forcing you to take cover while their comrades reposition and swarm your position. They are distinctive with face shield and bulkier armor to other Unidad units.
When marked, a purple shield will appear.
The Sniper is the long-range spotter/fighter. He seeks vantage points, such as watchtowers or terraces, and fights from there. He targets the player from afar and raises the alarm if spotted. Tends to take his time when shooting but inflicts massive damage. They wear lighter armor than rifleman, a beenie cap and balaclava, or ghillie suit.
When marked a purple symbol representing a sniper crosshairs will appear.
Unidad Veterans are field commanders. They act as morale boosters, giving orders to their soldiers - such as chase the player down or defend the camp. Target these guys to destabilize the enemy.
When marked a purple arrow sign will appear.
Lieutenants are high ranking officers of Unidad forces. They are important in the organization, but in combat they will just escape and when cornered they are defenseless, just like Santa Blanca lieutenants. However, they can't be interrogated outside of missions. Each wear a ballistic vest over a black suit. (There are no Lieutenants outside of scripted scenes)
When marked a purple arrow sign will appear.
La Unidad use many state-of-the-art equipment. Most of them are American origin, with some from Canada (LAV III and Gurkha LAPV), Germany (Mercedes Benz Zetros), Brazil (Troller T4), the Czech Republic (El Commandante assault rifle), Italy (El General pistol), and Russia (SAM Launcher).
- La Unidad's motto is La Unión Es La Fuerza, whose English translation is 'Union is Strength'.
- This appeal to unity is due to the fractured nature of most Latin American States.
- The in-game lore depicts La Unidad and the Santa Blanca Cartel having a very tense mutual relationship , and they will fight each other outside of scripted events if any kind of "disturbance of the peace" occurs, opening fire on each other; thus making them a helpful distraction in a tight situation, especially Unidad aircraft (just make sure they're targeting the cartel, not the Ghosts).
- Unidad infantry can be easily recognized by their black camouflage armor, but in low light locations (especially at night), spotting a single Unidad grunt can be difficult without the use of night/thermal vision or drones.
- Unidad bases are arguably the hardest outposts to infiltrate as they will always have a jamming station and SAM Site(s), along with a varying amount of sniper posts. Although, some of these bases hold a weapon, weapon accessory, and/or skill points, making it worth breaking into.
- Unidad Infantry is armed with R5 RGP 's with digital scopes while the snipers are armed with MSR's.
- Unidad personel is heavily armoured with riot equipment. This design idea comes from the constant Latin American civil unrest and usage of riot police to disperse demonstrators .
- Unidad draws much inspiration from the Brazilian Police Special Operations Battalion (BOPE), made famous by the movie Elite Squad (2007). Their black berets and uniforms, and also their unit badge, are directly inspired by BOPE's outlook.
- Unidad is equipped with the LAV III Kodiak light wheeled armoured vehicle with rapid fire gun, probably inspired by the similar V300 Cadillac Gage vehicles used by Noriega's forces at the time of Operation Just Cause (1989).
- La Unidad may draw inspiration from the Unidad Tactica de Resolucion de Crisis (UTARC, or Tactical Crisis Resolution Unit), a unit of Bolivian military police, which was disbanded in 2009 after numerous allegations of extreme brutality. They were known for wearing ballistic masks and were taken down specifically after allegations of them opening fire on journalists who were recording a "botched arrest".
- Another possible source of inspiration is the Unidad Móvil Policial para reas Rurales (UMOPAR, or Mobile Police Unit for Rural Areas), a counter-narcotics unit of the Bolivian National Police that acts with nearly total impunity in rural areas of Bolivia. Known abuses include torturing minors, drownings, severely beating Catholic priests, shooting peasants, and even shooting at government agents. Unlike the disbanded UTARC, UMOPAR is still active.