Flag of Val Verde

Flag of Val Verde[1]

Val Verde, officially the Republic of Val Verde,[2] is a country in Central America. It borders on Guatemala.[3]

In 1987, Val Verde was chosen as the grounds for a Hunt by a member of the Jungle Hunter Clan who was hoping to exploit the ongoing guerrilla war there.[4] This led it into conflict with both a team of US Army special forces as well as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer's mercenary team.


Val Verde has a long history of American involvement in its political affairs, being an important US-backed presence in Central America. Some time prior to 1985, the country's then-leader President Arius was deposed in a revolution that was covertly assisted by American special forces. In his place, President Velázquez, who was more sympathetic towards the American government and its agenda, was placed in power.[5]

Events of 1987

"I've seen some bad-ass bush before, man, but nothin' like this.
I hear ya. This shit's somethin'. Makes Cambodia looks like Kansas.
Mac and Blain, commenting on the dense Val Verde jungle (from Predator)

By 1987, the country found itself combating an insurgency led by Communist guerrillas, who were being covertly backed by the Soviet Union; Soviet assistance included a number of military advisors. CIA agent Al Dillon was tasked with stopping the insurgency, which also threatened neighboring Guatemala, and to this end he tasked Jim Hopper's special forces team to eliminate the main rebel base of operations. Hopper and his men subsequently vanished, having been killed in the jungles of Val Verde by a Predator. Dillon attributed their loss to the guerrillas and turned to his old friend Dutch to complete the mission. After fabricating a story about governmental hostages to coerce Dutch into accepting the job, the guerrillas' camp and much of their heavy arms were destroyed, before Dutch and his team also encountered the Predator. The American team was decimated, with only Dutch and a single captive guerrilla named Anna surviving the ordeal. The OWLF quickly began an investigation into the incident, which remained largely secret.

Later history

The following year, in 1988, the country's internal strife erupted into full-blown civil war. Fighting erupted at the same time as the aircraft carrier USS Georgetown docked in Val Verde, and Captain Henry "Hank" Madigan and the crew became involved in the conflict, attempting to protect innocent civilians.[6] The insurgency was eventually crushed, and Val Verde's government became a major ally in the US government's war on drugs in Central and South America. Most notably, in 1990 infamous Val Verdean drug lord General Ramon Esperanza was deported to the United States to stand trial for his crimes.[2]

Behind the Scenes

Val Verde is an entirely fictional country that was originally created for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Commando, to avoid any possible diplomatic disputes from using a real Central American country in the movie. Its name translates as "Green Valley", as "Val" is an apocope of "valle", the Spanish word for "valley".[7] Val Verde was subsequently re-used, perhaps as something of an inside joke, in Predator, as both films star Schwarzenegger and were produced by Joel Silver. The country went on to feature in several other films and TV series, including Supercarrier, Die Hard 2, Adventure Inc. (starring Aliens actor Michael Biehn in its lead role) and Rise of the Dinosaurs.

Puerto Vallarta, which had previously appeared in The Night of the Iguana, was used as the principal filming location for Predator, despite the objections of John McTiernan and Donald McAlpine. The early beach shots in the film were taken at Puerto Vallarta and jungle scenes were shot slightly further inland. When more money was released by 20th Century Fox, McTiernan was able to shoot in his preferred location around Palenque (including the Misol-Ha waterfall) and about half of the final film came from this round of shooting.[8]


  • Several shared personnel link the various film/television appearances of Val Verde. Commando, Supercarrier, Die Hard 2 and Adventure Inc. were all co-written by Steven E. de Souza, while Commando and Predator both star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Additionally, Commando, Predator and Die Hard 2 were all produced by Joel Silver. Also, Vernon Wells starred in both Commando and Rise of the Dinosaurs.
  • In Predators, Isabelle recounts the events of Predator to the people on the Game Preserve Planet. However, she incorrectly states those events took place in Guatemala, not Val Verde (although Dutch's team was briefed in Guatemala at the beginning of the film). It is possible that either Isabelle was misinformed (since she lives in a completely different part of the world), or the incident occurred on the Val Verde-Guatemala border.
  • Val Verde has at least one international airport, Escalon Airport.[2]
  • The real-life goblin spider species Predatoroonops valverde is named after Val Verde; every member of the Predatoroonops genus has a name that references Predator, due to the perceived similarity between the spider's mouthparts and the Predator's mandibles.[9]
  • Val Verde is also the name of a real census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States.


External Links


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steven E. de Souza, Doug Richardson (writers), Renny Harlin (director). Die Hard 2 (1990), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  3. Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  4. "EMPIRE - Predator: The Complete History". Retrieved on 2019-07-23.
  5. Steven E. de Souza, Joseph Loeb III, Matthew Weisman (writers), Mark L. Lester (director). Commando (1985), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  6. Steven E. de Souza, Stanford Whitmore, Joel Wilf (writers), William A. Graham, Corey Allen, Jackie Cooper (directors). Supercarrier (1988), MGM Television [DVD].
  7. "Diccionario de la lengua española" (in spanish). Real Academia Española. Retrieved on September 29, 2014.
  8. Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films (footnote 34, page 148, by David A. McIntee, Telos, 272 pages, 2005, ISBN 1-903889-94-4)
  9. Brescovit, Bonaldo, Santos, Ott & Rheims, 2012: The Brazilian goblin spiders of the new genus Predatoroonops (Araneae, Oonopidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, n. 370, pp. 1–68 (whole text).
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