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Benjamín Blanco is the secondary antagonist of the second half of the Netflix thriller teen drama series Elite, serving as a major anti-hero of the fourth season and the main antagonist of the fifth season. He is also an unseen character in Elite Short Stories: Samuel Omar and a supporting character in Elite Short Stories: Patrick.
He is portrayed by Diego Martín.
He has a very strict personality but deep down seems to have a soft spot, for his daughter Ari in particular. Benjamín also tends to judge people based on who their parents are, even if he doesn't know them at all, as shown when he strongly disapproves of Mencía's relationship with Rebeka whose mother is an infamous drug dealer and whom he develops a hatred for, which causes Rebeka to despise him, even to the point of accusing the latter of giving money to Mencía, which, unknown to Benjamín, was actually given to by Armando when she started sleeping with him.
At some point, Benjamín grew in a poor background without even meeting his own father while also attending Las Encinas on a scholarship, becoming friends and then business partner of Armando. His wife died in a car accident as a result of his daughter Mencía running away from home, which caused him to have a strained relationship with her. Benjamín used to be a CEO in London before moving to Spain with his children.
Benjamín first appears when Azucena arrives on her very first day back to the school, surprised to realize that she has been fired and Benjamín will be personally taking over her position, explaining to Azucena that the school had been truncated in quality for two years and that he was going to handle it himself. The principal introduces himself as a CEO to the students and tells them that he wants to help put Las Encinas back on the right track. Samuel wakes Omar up when he notices him asleep, but the principal sees him and tells him not to excuse himself, adding to the entire student body not to waste their time with excuses and adhere to the three pillars: Excellence, Discipline and Merit. Later on, he calls both Samuel and Omar to his office, the only two remaining students on a scholarhsip, asking them to be completely honest in how much are they worthy of this. Omar explains that his sister Nadia used to be on a scholarship too and brings up that he thought that Azucena saw something in him. Howeever, Benjamín is apathetic and states that his question was based on academic achievements and not personal anecdotes. He turns to Samuel, who explains that he has an average B+ grade, only for Benjamín to interrupt and remind him that last course he was expelled for misconduct. Samuel points out that that isn't related to academic achievements. After hearing them out, Benjamín decides to place them an assessment test to prove that they deserve their scholarships. Patrick and Mencía, who became attracted to Ander and Rebeka, complain to their father about this because everytime they're arriving at a country, everyone ends up hating them, but Ari keeps on defending Benjamín, leading Mencía to leave angrily. Benjamín also cuts Ari off when she implies that he might assess Samuel and Omar later.
When Benjamin and his children arrive at school the next day, they find all the students sitting in front of the front door as a form of protest. Mencía sits with them and is accepted by Guzmán, proving that she is on their side. Ari and Patrick follow their father. Mencía tells the group that the only way to have the assessment exam cancelled is for one of them to win over Ari, the only person Benjamín will listen to no matter what, so that she can convince him otherwise. Rebeka first suggests Samuel, but both Cayetana and Mencía are quick to object, because Ari would never be into someone like him, let alone with his poor background, so they decide to choose Guzmán. He initially rejects as he had already done the same with Nadia (when he and Lu were plotting against her for catching them in the showers) and ended up developing feelings for her, but is talked into it by Omar who playfully makes a Star Wars reference. Patrick, on the other hand, gives Omar the answers to the exam on the condition that Ander joins him at a gay nightclub. Guzmán goes on a date with Ari and the plan seems to work. However, Mencía ends up revealing the deception to Ari, who says that Mencía brought these misfortunes on herself, after Benjamín cut her from the family wealth for refusing a dinner invitation with him and Ari. During the dinner, he notices Ari tense, but she assures that everything is fine. Samuel passes by and begs Benjamín not to give the exam to Omar, arguing that he is a hardworking guy and that he has already lost people who matter to him, and he wouldn't bear losing another person, but is caught by his boss who fires him right on the spot. Seeing everything from afar, Benjamín asks Ari if he should test Samuel and Omar differently, but Ari, now that she knows about the entire scheme, replies "no" and tells him to place the test as planned. The next day, Samuel and Omar (using the answers Patrick gave to him as a way to apologize for his father's behaviour on his behalf) take the test and pass, meeting separately with Benjamín in his office. Samuel scores 73/100 and Benjamín congratulates him, also informing him that he had talked to his boss and managed to have him rehired as he explained that Samuel only wanted to help. Nevertheless, Benjamín advises Samuel not to relieve people from their own battles and focus more on his because he is evidently good in making reasonable points. Then, he meets Omar (whose meeting is short), who scored a 97/100, suspecting whether he was sloppy in cheating or studying.
Prince Phillipe arrives in Spain, where Benjamin, Ari and Patrick greet him. His arrival prompts a lot of controversial security measures, including the students giving out personal information and their family's previous criminal records, which visibly infuriates Rebeka, given that everyone now knows about her mother's illegal drug dealing business. The male's showers have to be cleared out for Phillipe to shower alone. Angered, the students later protest Phillipe's presence at the school by walking out of the classroom as he enters. Ari scolds her fellow classmates for their cynicism, causing Samuel to take her side which in turn angers Guzmán. Phillipe tells Benjamin that he doesn't want anyone to be expelled because of him and that no one should suffer because their relatives have done something wrong, telling him that his family didn't ask him for most of the security measures they had put in place. However, he agrees to leave the cameras.
Benjamin tells Samuel that he wants him to join the debate group because of how he defended Omar. Samuel tells him that after school he works at El Club del Lago, but he tells him to quit, because the school could offer him 25% more than his current salary. He invites Samuel over to his house to practices his speeches, pairing him up with Ari. Later that night, when Mencía has gone missing, Ari tells Benjamin that she is with Rebeka, which angers him. Samuel tries to defend her, but Benjamin angrily tells him to mind his own business. Samuel offers Ari to drive and she manages to convince her father to stay home in case Mencia calls.
In a bid to drive Ari away from Samuel out of jealousy, Guzmán discloses Nano's criminal past to her, including the fact that he had violated his parole prior to being given his sentence for Marina's murder. The next day, Samuel and Ari debate about the reintegration of prisoners in Europe. When Samuel finishes his arguments, it is Ari's turn. When she stops mid-sentence and sees Guzmán sitting in the crowd, Ari takes the opportunity to bring up this piece of information about Nano, leaving Samuel appalled and asking Ari why did she use that. Ari does not answer and continues, with Samuel demanding that his brother's name is not mentioned again. Benjamín sides with her and Samuel angrily storms off, with Benjamín following suit. As Samuel tries to leave, Benjamín inspires him with a pep talk about the debate representing life itself, since it always catches you off guard, finishing when Benjamín states that whining behind an excuse is not what he should do, asking Samuel to let him know his decision about this.
Later on, Benjamín catches Phillipe talking to Cayetana, the school's cleaner, and, both of them conversating in French, asks him what he was doing and Phillipe says that he did nothing wrong. Benjamín tells Phillipe that he had brought him for a reasonL to help him and his family, but reminds him that he has him well watched and that he doesn't want him to cause rumors like the ones he had before in his native country when he was accused of sexual assault. Phillipe demands that he not speak to him in that tone, but Benjamín rethorically asks him again if he had made himself clear before leaving. Meanwhile, Guzmán invites Benjamín and his children over for dinner where he advises him on how to deal with Mencía, whom his deceased sister Marina reminds him of. Benjamín listens to Guzmán when he gives him a good metaphor and Patrick suggests to his father that he put him in the debate group.
Patrick, Ari and Mencía arrive home, where they are greeted by Benjamín, who introduces them to Armando as a former student of Las Encinas and the president of Alumni. Benjamín suspects Mencía is hiding something when he notices her tension over Armando's presence, also finding it strange that she is friends with a man who is 30 years older than her, and tells her that if something is going on she can tell him, although Mencía falsely denies it. Because of this and fearing for Rebeka's safety, Mencía starts pushing her away. Nevertheless, Rebeka then tells Ari about Armando's intentions with Mencía, but as usual, Mencía again denies it when Ari asks her if it's true.
Armando later shows up to the New Year's Eve party at Club Del Lago, where Mencía is all by herself and tells her that he wants to spend New Year with her. Mencía is surrounded by Armando who tries again to touch her, but she fights back. "You entered my house, you entered my fucking relationship, what else do you want from me??!!", angrily shouts Mencía and calls him "fucking crazy", at which point the enraged Armando grabs her by the face and tries to attack her until Rebeka, who still confirms to Ari the fact about Armando, kicks him into a boat, saving her life and telling her that even if Mencía doesn't need her help she'll always be there before the two of them escape as he angrily yells out Mencía's name. An inebriated Ari then confronts Armando and tells him that she will tell everything to her father, who will be ruining his life and reputation in a matter of seconds. As Ari pulls out her cellphone to contact her father, Armando demands that she give it to him. When she refuses, Armando slaps and throws her to the ground. Ari picks up her phone, begging for help as Armando repeatedly beats her up. Guzmán, who was fighting Samuel over a misunderstanding with Ari and he slides towards Cayetana who checks on him, hears a message from Ari through Samuel's cellphone asking to meet at the pier. Guzmán quickly arrives and sees the weakened Ari injured, just as Armando attempts to escape. Guzmán asks her what Armando has done to her and she tells Guzmán to go get him. Ari stands up but falls into the lake. Guzmán follows Armando into a storage room where he grabs a stick and the two fight each other, ending with Armando trapping Guzmán on a shelf. Releasing himself and rising to his feet, Guzmán, to defend himself, grabs a firework gun and aims at Armando, who attempts to run but is too late as Guzmán quickly shoots him in the back with it, finally killing him as he falls to the ground and coughs up blood.
When the scared Guzmán tells Samuel and Rebeka what he did, they come up with a plan to prevent him from going to prison: Guzmán, Rebeka and Samuel take Armando's corpse and drop it into the river with an anchor so that he will never be found, then Armando is considered alive and missing by everyone else when Guzmán falsely declares that Armando had knocked him out and disappeared without a trace. Mencía finally tells her father (though her dialogues remain unaudible) everything Armando did to her, making Benjamín explode into a treacherous rage, breaking a glass of wine and a table made of glass.
Elite Short Stories: Samuel Omar
Benjamín does not appear physically in the short story but can be heard through a phone call he has with Samuel, letting him know that he saw his nude pictures and expels him as a result of disrespecting the school's uniform, even though he was only doing this to earn the rent money and prevent himself and Omar from being evicted. However, the goal is achieved with help from Rebeka and Cayetana as other students start taking nude pictures of themselves as well, knowing it would be completely illogical to expel all of the students who followed suit. Later on, an excited Rebeka tells Samuel about some news Benjamín wants to discuss with him, probably implying that he is allowed to return.
Elite Short Stories: Patrick
Benjamín finds a nude Patrick passed out on the couch and calls him out for ruining his own life and not prioritzing the wellbeings of Ari and Mencía who are still recovering from Armando's attack. Patrick decides to take a trip to a cabin at the woods to get away from everything, although it proves to be far from peaceful as his cabin is invaded by some men partying in the neighbourhood cabin. He has a vision of the future in which a funeral is held for Mencía after noticing himself, Benjamín and Ari wearing black. Returning home, they knock on Mencía's bedroom when she has locked herself, although she turns out to be safe and sound. A heart-to-heart conversation eventually brings the family together when Benjamín states that no one is to blame for the death of their mother as it was just an accident and they start decorating the house.
Benjamín takes a more prominent role in this season. After Ari and Mencía's traumatic experiences with Armando, whom he assumes to be alive and missing, he starts implementing even more drastic measures to the school such as forcing students out of the premises for lateness without justification, forced physical distance from others, confiscating cellphones in lockers, including even, to the fury of many, geolocators to track each and every of their moves. He also allows Phillipe to stay at the school despite the many attacks he's been receiving from the student body after all his sexual assault rumours are confirmed to be true. At school, Mencia admits to the arriving inspector that she’s a victim of assault. It’s all too much for Benjamin, given what’s recently happened with Ari, as his world comes crashing down around him. He blames himself for not keeping a closer eye on Armando, as Samuel promise Benjamin in confidence that Armando is never coming back. Patrick defies his father by throwing a bigger party at a nightclub, whose relationship becomes even more tense, suffering the same poor treatment as Mencia in the fourth season, to the point of even slapping him in the face when Patrick shows up drunk at an auction. After the party, Benjamín does some drug tests on the students, most of them refusing to do so, save for Omar and Samuel, declaring that the one who is positive will be expelled immediately by vote on behalf of their classmates. After most of the student body and Omar, knowing that he won't actually expel him, vote Samuel, he is instead suspended for three days, much to the disappointment of the others because they thought he meant definite expulsion. Benjamín then approaches Samuel and reminds him of the first time he stood up for Omar and his advise of keeping out of other people's battles, telling him that Omar seemingly followed it quite well, much to Samuel's anger who kicks Omar out of his house.
After Armando's corpse is found by Omar, Samuel and Rebeka admit their part in covering up the murder and tellO Omar that they did it to protect Guzmán, Omar and themselves. After some persistence by Omar, Samuel decides to call the police to report the incident. Mencía discovers a SIM card in the case of the phone Armando gave her and finds that its last call was to a secret second phone of Benjamin's. He quizzes Samuel about the coincidence with Armando's death and Guzmán's sudden departure from the school, Ari asking him if it was Guzmán who killed Armando, but Samuel still chooses to protect his friend and denies knowing anything. An investigation into Armmando's death is then launched by the police who confiscate Benjamin's phone, which he claims is his only one, before Benjamin gives Mencía his second one to hide. However, the lieutenant witnesses this on a school security camera. As he questions Mencía about her father's actions, Samuel suddenly interrupts and falsely takes the fall for Armando's murder under the promise of being given by Benjamin the best lawyers and he will be set financially for life. Benjamin's true intetions start to show as he and his attorney tell Samu to retract his confession and claim insanity and that it'd be suspicious if he bailed Samuel out. He even freezes his children and Phillipe's bank accounts to stop them from releasing Samuel. In turn, Iván, a new student who is attracted to Patrick, supports Samuel's plight and throws a date auction to pair students up in order to earn the money for Samuel's bail. The money earned is enough to release Samuel but he is heartbroken that Benjamin did not afford the money and starts growing suspicious of him.
The lieutenant reveals to Samuel that Armando and Benjamin were trafficking the data of powerful people. He further asks whether Samuel could help obtain evidence that proves that very fact, and if he helps them, Samuel will not go to jail. Instead, Benjamin will. Samuel initially declines as he starts seeing Benjamin and his children as the true family he ever had, but on Rebeka's insistence, he decides to push through. When Samuel is about to turn the sim card to the police, Benjaminn contacts Samuel and asks him if they can meet in person before he does so; Samuel agrees. Face to face at his house, Benjamin gives Samuel everything he owes him, i.e. pre-admission to a business school at Oxford School with a monthly allowance, or in Samuel’s words, “hush money”, knowing that Benjamin is bribing him into not telling the police about his shady dealings with Armando. Benjamín also refuses to acknowledge Samuel as a son he never had. With this, Samuel chooses to follow his own morale code and turn the sim card over to the police. Enraged, Benjamín attempts to stop Samuel and attacks him, accidentally making him fall into the pool and hit his head hard, thus cracking his skull open. Arriving home unexpectedly, Patrick finds Samuel face down in the pool. Upon seeing Patrick, Benjamin jumps into the pool and drags Samuel out. Patrick attempts to call for help, but Benjamin stops him because that would get them in trouble. Nevertheless, Patrick contacts Ari about Samuel, then Rebeka relays the information to Omar, leading to all of them alongside Mencia, heading over to Benjamin's house. Benjamin claims that Samuel left but neither the sisters nor Rebeka and Omar are fooled by him. After hearing Patrick's shouts, they rush to the garden to find Patrick covered in blood and Samuel seriously injured, with Omar threatening Benjamin if Samuel doesn't make it alive while Mencia calls the police. Benjamin tries to tell them it was an accident but they won't let him explain before Rebeka furiously punches him in the face as revenge, knocking him to the ground and breaking his glasses. Rebeka and Omar then sit by Samuel's side. Benjamin is arrested as Omar and Rebeka look on disappointed and exit the scene while Patrick, Ari and Mencía are completely devastated by the events, although it isn't completely confirmed whether Samuel survived or died.
- Unnamed wife †
- Unnamed parents
- Ari Blanco - Daughter
- Mencía Blanco - Daughter
- Patrick Blanco - Son
- Armando † - Former Business Partner
- Phillipe Von Triesenberg
- Estefanía Von Triesenberg
- Samuel García † - Former Student and Apprentice turned Archenemy and Victim
- Rebeka Parrilla
- Omar Shanaa
- Guzmán Nunier - Former Student
- Sebastián Abaga
- Azucena - Former Predecessor
- Benjamín's actions in the fifth season are connected to Armando's since both of them were running an illegal business that involved data trafficking of both powerful people and students at Las Encinas. However, when Benjamín started having some doubts, Armando blackmailed him with sensitive information that could destroy both his family and reputation. Then, with Armando out of the picture, Benjamín implemented the geolocators on all of the students.
- Benjamín's physical appearance resembles that of The Professor from Money Heist.
- Coincidentally, the actor who portrayed Benjamín, Diego Martín, physically resembles the other actor behind the Professor, Álvaro Morte.