Is Eduardo Melo Inspired by a Real Drug Dealer?


Netflix’s ‘Turn of the Tide’ is inspired by actual events which happened in 2001, when millions of dollars worth of cocaine was found on the shores of the Azores. The show puts a fictional spin on the story and follows a group of friends who become embroiled in dangerous circumstances involving drugs and the people interested in getting their hands on them. Eduardo becomes the leader of his group and comes up with ways to keep the drugs and make money off them while dodging the attempts of his adversaries to get the cocaine. Because the series is based on real events, it might make you wonder who Eduardo is based on.

Eduardo Melo is Not Based on an Actual Drug Dealer


No, Eduardo Melo in ‘Turn of the Tide’ is not based on a real drug dealer. While the show is based on real events, the story is told from a fictional perspective. Some characters are based on real people, but Eduardo and his group are a work of fiction by writer-director Augusto Fraga. However, even in concocting their plot line, Fraga drew some details from the rumors that have floated around the island since the cocaine was found.

The men who brought the drugs on their yacht hid them in obscure caves on the island, but they were washed ashore. Some islanders reported their findings to the authorities, but most kept it for themselves. Reportedly, the locals stashed their findings and turned into drug dealers, though they found that the market was difficult due to an enormous amount of supply but no demand to match. Allegedly, two fishermen knew about the drugs before the rest of the island.

It is believed that they saw the yacht and the men on it with cocaine and took a part of it for themselves. The exact amount of drugs they took cannot be ascertained, but it is said that they became the biggest dealers on the island. One report suggests that their car seats turned white with powder because they sold so much. They also used small quantities of drugs to barter for things.


While the names of these fishermen and the exact scale of their operation are unknown, it is possible that the creator of the Netflix series used this as the jumping-off point to create the fictional character of Eduardo Melo. For actor José Condessa, getting into the skin of the character was incredibly important. Because he had never been to the Azores, he lived in Rabo de Peixe for a while before filming “to know a reality that is not [his].” This allowed him to experience life on the island firsthand and make connections with locals, which gave him an insight into playing Eduardo.

“I have people in my heart, like Carlitos and Miguel, who are fishermen, just like my character. I also had to prepare myself physically to be close to the physical side that the character asked for. There were about four months of rehearsals. Then we had the opportunity to shoot for three months, which gave us some time to make things more beautiful,” the actor said.

Considering that the show is based on a true story and showcases the life and experiences of the people of Rabo de Peixe for the first time, Condessa and the creators of ‘Turn of the Tide’ focused on keeping things as authentic as possible. The series is shot on location on the islands, which helped build the environment of the show and added to the character’s journey. Considering all this, we can say that Eduardo Melo might be fictional, but a lot of work has gone into making him as realistic and relatable as possible.

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