- "Come my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."
- — Raul Menendez quoting the poem Ulysses.
Raul Menendez (Spanish: Raúl Menéndez) is a Nicaraguan drug lord, political activist and a revolutionary who serves as the main antagonist of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Strike Team. He is the leader of a terrorist organization named Cordis Die and is an old nemesis of Alex Mason and Frank Woods, and David "Section" Mason's nemesis in 2025. He hacked multiple automated US military drones, using them to attack its domestic major cities, as well as cities throughout China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, eventually destroying the drones after the damage was done. Using the drones, he crippled the US defenses, leaving the US military vulnerable in an attempt to ignite a worldwide uprising. He has a noticeably large scar, and a burn mark on his right eye.
Raul is apparently extremely charismatic and influential to a number of people; according to trailers, he is nicknamed "The Messiah of the 99%" and has a subscriber count on his Cordis Die YouTube channel in the millions and views in the hundreds of millions. According to Harper, he's the most dangerous terrorist since Osama bin Laden, and according to Briggs, people in America idolize him, despite him being the one responsible for the blood spilled on US Soil.
Raul Menendez was born in Nicaragua on September 5, 1963. According to J-SOC Operative Salazar, Menendez spent the first part of his childhood during his country's tumultuous years in the Nicaraguan Revolution. Seeing firsthand the horrors the American-backed Contras conducted on his fellow countrymen would sow the seeds for his hatred of the west. After the colossal 1972 earthquake of Nicaragua, Raul's family lost most of all they had, including their home. A year after the quake, his only sister Josefina was horribly disfigured and crippled from a fire in a warehouse the two were seeking shelter in. Raul first believed that Josefina was dead and tried to kill himself by slitting his throat with her pendant until she woke and begged him not to. The warehouse was burned down by its American owner in order to collect $11,000 through insurance fraud. This tragedy would further embitter Raul Menendez towards the United States.
The Menendez Cartel
When Menendez entered into his teenage years both he and his father, Jose Luiz Menendez, started over by selling drugs for easy money. As time passed they became rich and powerful 'legends of Managua'. Their height of power was so great that the Menendez Cartel was extremely reputable within the criminal underworld. He was also trained by his father to be a professional escape artist. This was of great concern to the United States to the extent that the CIA was sent in to eliminate Raul's father in a U.S. sanctioned assassination, an assassination that a young Raul observed and escaped in a pick up truck in the events of Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified.
Angola/Encounter with Alex Mason
Fueled by his anger for the U.S., in 1986, Menendez began to run guns into Afghanistan for his own private army. On July 2, 1986, Menendez was in Angola supplying the Soviet backed Communist government, the MPLA, with arms. It was also the same time in which Alex Mason and Jason Hudson were in Angola to rescue one of Menendez's victims, the recently captured Frank Woods. Alex Mason ran into Menendez after breaking into his hut, while the gun runner was talking on his radio. As his men entered the hut, Menendez wrestled with Mason after pulling a grenade. Mason overpowered Menendez and shot him in the right side of his face, destroying his eye and leaving him permanently disfigured. Mason then escaped the hut as the grenade exploded.
This drew the attention of the CIA. Later in the year, the CIA authorizes a strike against Menendez, now making a healthy profit running arms across Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, sending in Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson to investigate. Unbeknownst to the trio, the leader of the Mujahideen whom they considered their ally, Mullah Rahmaan, was one of many in which secretly worked for Menendez. It was this same time in which Menendez also dealt with Lev Kravchenko, who sold the arms dealer Soviet weapons. Sending the arms into third world countries such as Cuba and Angola, Menendez began to fund and arm many anti-Western rebellions and revolutions in the hope to bring down capitalist nations.
The CIA, in conjunction with the Panamanian Defense Forces, conducted a raid on Menendez's compound in Nicaragua. Menendez was ambushed in his room but broke free once he saw a guard hurting his sister. However, he was sedated and awoke outside the compound. When Manuel Noriega freed him, Menendez attacked him and ran through the compound to find Josefina. When Raul reached his sister's room, Frank Woods throws a hand grenade into Menendez's sister's room, killing her and, seemingly, Menendez himself.
Revenge & Death of Hudson
However, unknown to the U.S. or the CIA, the corrupt Noriega made a deal with Menendez, offering him sanctuary in Panama. Before the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989, Menendez, with the help of his moles within the CIA, kidnapped the young David Mason and brought him to Panama just ahead of the elder Mason's mission to capture Noriega. Menendez's men also kidnap Jason Hudson and force him to relay false information to Frank Woods, which includes an order to kill what was believed to be Menendez. After taking the shot, the man shot was not Menendez but instead Alex Mason. To further punish the now grief-stricken Woods, Menendez kills Hudson. Still not content with his revenge, Menendez allows Woods and the young David to live and vows that in due time he will return to finalize his revenge. However, if the player chooses to shoot Mason in anywhere but the head, he will turn up alive years later after Menendez' execution or capture (player-determined).
Cordis Die/Wanted Terrorist
During the course of the next thirty years Menendez hides in the shadows, working to gather the men and resources needed to begin his world revolution. To generate funds for his private army, Menendez used the wealth he made in drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, and invested heavily in various weapons technology, including Tacitus Corporation.
On June 22, 2014, Menendez began his campaign by creating Cordis Die; a social networking group drawing in billions of followers to his cause of ending the "corrupt capitalist 1% nations", using the alias Odysseus. With his followers unaware that their leader was an arms smuggler and a narco-terrorist, Menendez recruits armed insurgent groups such as the Mercs and the Yemeni Militia. He also builds several secret military facilities all around the world, such as in Myanmar and Haiti.
By 2025, Cordis Die has just over two billion followers who see Menendez as their savior and idol, YouTube, Twitter and various other sites have very large subscriber counts. Despite the large support, Menendez is seen as a threat to the U.S. government who brand him the most dangerous terrorist since Osama bin-Laden and have him under constant surveillance.
As part of Menendez's plan, he hires Chloe Lynch to develop a new rare earth element called "Celerium" which has more processing power than the entire U.S. military infrastructure. The plan is to use it to hack into the drones controlled by the US and China and to turn them against their respective cites. To process it into a smaller form, Menendez hires Erik Breighner. Once developed, Menendez stores the chip in a fake eyeball where his right eye used to be.
Cyber Attack on the Chinese Stock Market
As part of Menendez's plan to wipe out both America and China, he uses the Celerium worm to hack the Chinese Stock Market and send it into depression. The blame however is pinned on the United States Government, though some people, like Woods, knew better than to believe this. After this, Menendez's page is shut down by the FBI. Two days later, the director of the FBI is found dead. The cause of death: being burned alive.
Pakistan and Karma
Menendez and his second in command DeFalco visit Pakistan to meet up with Tian Zhao and the ISI Leader, to gain support of the SDC and rogue elements within the ISI. David "Section" Mason, Mike Harper, Javier Salazar and Crosby are sent in to spy on him. However, this is also part of Menendez's plan, who claims to have engineered the infiltration. Menendez meets with DeFalco about Chloe and assigns DeFalco to find and capture her. After doing so Menendez blows the Americans' cover but they are able to escape.
Mason and his team are sent to infiltrate Colossus, a high-end exotic island getaway, to find out about Chloe and her connection to Menendez's plans. Depending on the players actions, DeFalco can be killed while apprehending Chloe or she can be captured and rescued in the mission "Second Chance" in which DeFalco will survive to be with Menendez once more.
Betrayal and Capture
In Yemen, Menendez holds a meeting with his followers with Farid at his side. Farid, unknown to Menendez at this point, is a spy for the CIA (though Menendez is suspicious of him). Menendez, Farid and DeFalco (if not killed at this point) stand assembled with their followers just in time for the American attack. Menendez and Farid split up and regroup at the citadel. Though Farid begs Menendez to retreat he instead shoots down Harper's VTOL and takes him prisoner. Though Harper refuses to state the name of the traitor, Menendez hands a gun to Farid and orders him to kill Harper:
If the player decides to follow Menendez's orders and shoots Harper then he will die and Farid's cover will remain safe. This will ensure Chloe's survival later in the game and subsequent defeat of Menendez's cyber attack.
If the player decides to shoot Menendez instead then he will stop him and shoots Farid in the chest before shooting him in the head and killing him. This will doom Chloe to her demise and ultimately Woods (if Menendez is captured), however Harper will survive.
Whatever the outcome of the player's choice, Menendez will then be captured in his downed VTOL by David Mason and Salazar. Menendez then thanks David and asks him to help seek a newer world.
U.S.S. Obama/Cyber attack begins
After being taken prisoner, Raul is taken to the U.S.S. Obama where he is interrogated, first by Salazar and then by Mason. However an attack from Cordis Die allows him to escape. Later Menendez (with or without DeFalco) will head to the bridge as Admiral Briggs was rebooting the system. Menendez takes Briggs hostage while Salazar shows his true colors, betrays his own men and joins Raul's side. This may or may not result in DeFalco and Chloe's deaths (this is player determined). Menendez will then have Briggs at gun point but Salazar requests that he not kill him but shoot him in the leg. The player can either choose to kill Briggs or wound him or do nothing. Menendez then takes out his fake eyeball and uploads his virus which allows him to take control of the system. Menendez then makes his escape by means of a jet.
If the player decides to shoot Briggs in the leg, and has completed the strike force missions and killed Tian Zhao, then Briggs will live to re-activate the Obama's defenses until the Chinese show up and save the Obama.
If the player decides to kill Briggs, or hasn't completed the strike force missions or didn't kill Zhao then the Obama will be destroyed.
- "Martyr me...for Cordis Die."
- — Menendez to Section when the latter has him at gunpoint.
As a series of cyber attacks around the world takes place, Menendez will take refuge in his hidden base in Haiti to control the drones. The US government (with or without support from the Chinese government) will launch an attack on the base. Just before they reach him however, Menendez kills a Marine and puts on his uniform and kit. It will then be discovered that Menendez isn't controlling the drones from the base. Menendez then broadcasts a message to the world and shows various cites about to be attacked before he self-destructs the drones, revealing Cordis Die's true plan: cripple US drones and leave its military vulnerable so the two billion followers of Cordis Die can rise up and attack the government. However, as Menendez tries to make his escape, David will slide down to him, stab his left leg and right shoulder and then hold him at gunpoint with Menendez' Tac-45. Menendez then tells David to make him a martyr for Cordis Die, at which point Mason either shoots or captures him.
If the player spares Menendez then he will be taken outside and put into US custody with Raul telling David to study Ulysses and be ready for his escape one year from now. If Harper is alive at this point then he will say that he would have just shot him.
If the player shoots Menendez then he will die. If Harper is still alive then he will express concern that David was going to let him live. Additionally, a YouTube video will appear revealing Menendez' death, angering Cordis Die's followers, resulting in widespread rioting in Washington D.C. and the White House being burned down. This is considered the canonical outcome.
- "What?! Raul Menendez was a hypocritical egomaniac who thought he could make a better world by fucking everything up!"
- — Hendricks to Khalil
Menendez's actions during the events of 2025 led directly to the events of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, with the creation of the Directed Energy Air Defense Systems after the Second Cold War resulted in the creations of the Winslow Accord and Common Defense Pact. His death also resulted in his shell company, Tacitus Corporation, being dissolved, with most of its shares bought by Coalescence Corporation. While canonically Menendez is reported to have been killed while trying to escape Haiti disguised as a soldier, many in Cordis Die, namely the more militant members of the faction, saw the nature of his death as cowardly rather than dying as a martyr; it is implied that the promised reprisals never occurred due to controversy and infighting among Cordis Die members.
In 2064, Lieutenant Zeyad Khalil mentions Menendez, stating that the only reason they've managed to survive against the Nile River Coalition is because Menendez's drone strikes led to the creation of the D.E.A.D., which Jacob Hendricks quickly dismisses, stating that he deserved what happened to him.
Effect on the Ending
Menendez, being the catalyst for most of the events in game, obviously has a large impact on the ending. Primarily, the player has the greatest choice when choosing to execute Menendez or capture him after David Mason stabs him in the right leg and shoulder with a knife. The decision to save Alex Mason will also impact how the game ends.
If Menendez is simply shot by David then a video triggered to play upon his death will activate and cause mass anger among the Cordis Die followers. This is considered the canonical ending of the game.
Chloe survives, Menendez survives
If Chloe is alive when Menendez is captured then she will find Menendez' escape plan by means of a celerium worm and disable it, foiling Menendez' escape plan. A year after she will appear on a talk show where an enraged Menendez watching will bash his head against the T.V. multiple times before just laughing it off.
Chloe dies, Menendez survives (and dies afterwards)
If Chloe is dead when Menendez is captured then Raul will make good on his word and escape prison one year after his capture and visit Woods at The Vault. Once there, he briefly converses with Woods about his sister before stabbing Woods in the neck with her pendent (just like he killed Hudson 37 years prior) and lays his body on the bed. Menendez is next seen at his sister's graveyard site where he will exhume her remains before dousing himself with gasoline and lighting himself on fire with a matchstick, killing himself.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Menendez appears in Call of Duty: Mobile, introduced initially in the Season 13 Wint3r War Comics and later in the Season 2: Day of Reckoning returning with a playable character added as part of the "Rebel Crate".
Some time later, he is shown to have been apprehended in a building by Charly's squad. However, the Templar, presumed to be working with Menendez, shows up and kills everyone save Charly herself, allowing Menendez to escape unscathed.
He later appears again in the Raid, where he was slated to be operating out of after Cordis Die hacked the computers. Mace, Mara and Alex are tasked by Shepherd to track him down. He realizes that Mace had apparently betrayed him, and then makes haste to exfil while noting that the Templar is off-site. Unfortunately, he doesn't get far as Alex shoots down his pilot before he can take off, and is then apprehended by Mace. After being captured, Menendez is held in a prison and interrogated by both Shepherd and Price.
Call of Duty: Mobile
- Main article: Raul Menendez/Quotes
- Menendez often quotes and references the poem Ulysses. In the fictional YouTube channel he calls himself as Odysseus, which is another name for Ulysses.
- Menendez appears alongside Frank Woods in the music video for the song Carry On by Avenged Sevenfold, which is seen after the end credits.
- On the back of his shirt, it shows the dates and locations of concerts, which reference the locations and dates of the 2025 missions.
- Menendez is trilingual, as he speaks Spanish, Russian and English.
- Menendez was ranked #1 on GameInformer's list of top 10 villains of 2012.
- In the ending where Menendez kills Woods, he appears to have his right eye back.
- If Graphic Content Filter is enabled, and if the player gets the ending where Chloe lives and Menendez is captured, when he slams his head on the TV in his prison cell, Menendez's entire body, including his face, is censored.