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Ain't got nothing to worry about from me. I'm cool, homie.
~ El Diablo's famous quote.
I was born with the Devil's gift. I kept it hidden for most of my life, but the older I got, the stronger it got. So I started using it. For business, you know. The more power on the street I got, the more firepower I got. Like, that sh-t went hand in hand. You know? One was feeding the other. Ain't nobody tell me no. Except my old lady.
Chato Santana was born on June 3, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, into a family of Catholic immigrants from Mexico, and spent most of his childhood in the watchful custody of his grandmother. As the pyrokinetic powers he was born with slowly developed in strength with his age, he struggled to hide these abilities and curbed the temptation to use them growing up. But, this eventually led Santana to weaponize them to his advantage and draw him into getting involved in gang activity at age 17, moving up the ranks by stealing cars, dealing drugs and selling handguns. Becoming known as "El Diablo" on the streets, he was suspected, although never charged, with the murder of fifteen men in East Los Angeles. He thus realized that this might spike his dangerous abilities further and adjusted to the life of a family man, marrying a woman named Grace and fathering a son and daughter with her.
Death of his family and Imprisonment
One evening, however, Grace came to discover her husband's criminal activities by finding a stash of money and a pair of pistols in their closet and confronted him about them. When the married couple argued with her threatening to take their children away to her mother's, El Diablo lost his temper and had a hard time controlling his pyrokinesis. This resulted in him setting their house ablaze, killing both Grace and their two children.
Heartbroken and wracked with remorse, El Diablo handed himself over to police custody and was subsequently sentenced to life in federal prison. He was attacked by several inmates in the recreational area during a prison riot, prompting him to lose control and torch the entire area, killing those nearby. Deemed far too dangerous for a federal prison, he was subsequently transferred to supermax Belle Reve, where he was put inside a container capable of dousing his fire.
Recruited into the Suicide Squad
At Belle Reve, El Diablo was approached by Amanda Waller and Rick Flag who showed him footage of him killing several inmates. El Diablo denied being the person in the footage, saying that person is dead, frustrating Waller. Flag tried to talk to El Diablo but was shut down saying that he isn't going to fight again. Diablo then used his powers to create the word 'bye' to Waller and Flag.
When Midway City was attacked by Incubus, the US government called to assemble Task Force X. El Diablo's cell began to fill up with water and flushed him out where he was apprehended by Hunter Griggs and the guards injected him with a tranquilizer before he could escape.
The Squad was then briefed by Rick Flag on how they are to go about accomplishing their mission. El Diablo then gathered his gear and changed into street clothes and watched with everyone else as Harley Quinn got changed. El Diablo then commented on how they were the ones who were going to die on the mission saying they were being led to their deaths. The rest of the squad started to make jokes about El Diablo; Captain Boomerang asked if his tattoos washed off, Harley Quinn asked if he could light a cigarette with his pinkie and Deadshot reminded them that he could torch the whole area. He then reassured the squad that they don't have to worry about him.
Battle of Midway City
When the squad had geared up, they were informed by Waller about their mission and what they are to do. If they were successful in their mission they would receive time off their prison sentence but if they fail, they would die. The squad gathered in a helicopter and were about to head off to Midway City when Katana joined them. The Squad crash-landed in Midway City and they made their way to retrieve Waller when Captain Boomerang and Slipknot attempted to escape. After witnessing Slipknot being shot dead, Flag threatened the rest of the Squad.
The Squad then proceeded when they came across some of Enchantress' minions who became hostile and began to attack them. While the rest of the squad fought off the creatures, El Diablo stayed out of the way and decided not to fight because he is afraid that he would lose control. After the fight Captain Boomerang approached El Diablo and mocked him about not helping to hold up a lighter, and challenging him to fight, to no avail.
The squad made their way to John F. Ostrander Federal Building where they made their way upstairs where they were ambushed by Enchantress' minions. Once again El Diablo stayed out of the way while everyone fought off the creatures which made Deadshot pull him aside and tried to get him to fight. Becoming angry with Deadshot having a go at him, he used his powers to eliminate all of the remaining enemies which shocked the Squad on how powerful he is.
El Diablo and the rest of the squad waited while Rick Flag and Deadshot went to retrieve Amanda Waller. They were greeted by Waller who threatened to blow their heads off when Captain Boomerang suggested killing her and Flag. When they were on the rooftop, a chopper hijacked by the Joker opened fire on the squad so El Diablo took cover. When Harley escaped and Deadshot went to shoot her, El Diablo watched believing she had been shot only to reveal to be pretending. The squad watched as the chopper got shot down and blow up thinking Harley had died.
As the squad left the building they saw Harley still alive. After being informed that Flag and Waller are responsible for Enchantress destroying due to a failed mission, the squad decided to go to a bar and have a drink. El Diablo orders water and they listen to Deadshot review the mission and that they are the ones who will be blamed. El Diablo then told the others about accidentally killing his wife and children. Harley told him to own what he did, and the others convinced him to redeem himself by helping them defeat Enchantress.
Final Fight and Sacrifice
As they made their way to confront Enchantress, Deadshot asked El Diablo if he was going to fight with them which he answered by being worried that he would lose control, which Deadshot said would give them a chance. When they reached the Enchantress, Flag told them to draw out Incubus so they can blow him up when suddenly Enchantress sensed them and told them to come out. She then showed the squad what they want and that she can give it to them. She showed El Diablo with his family alive until he breaks from her reality and owns that he cannot change what he did.
He then pleads to the rest of the squad to reject the realities Enchantresses promises them, telling them that it is not real. An enraged El Diablo then goes to confront the Enchantress, defiantly declaring that she can't control him or the squad. They are then attacked by Incubus who easily overpowers the group. El Diablo then volunteers to get Incubus in the corner so he can be blown up. Stating that he is not going to lose another family to Enchantress, he goes and fights off Incubus to protect the squad with his powers which temporarily affects him until he knocks El Diablo away.
El Diablo gets back up and uses his powers and transforms into a flaming skeleton avatar and manages to overpower Incubus and get him into the corner. He then thrusts his superheated arm right through Incubus' extremely durable chest, weakening him until his arm got stuck in Incubus' chest due to his healing factor and Incubus chokes him and reverts him into his original human form. Flag tells him to get away from the bomb, but knowing that he can't, he tells Flag to set off the bomb, killing both Incubus and himself.
Powers and Abilities
Pyrokinesis: El Diablo possesses pyrokinesis, able to set half a prison yard on fire which kills dozens of inmates. However, he can also use it in a controlled manner, capable of generating hologram-like flames.
Transformation: El Diablo can transform into a demonic flaming skeletal form that greatly resembles a tribal shaman. In this form, he can use his powers to their fullest extent. His strength and durability both increase dramatically, and his pyrokinesis even becomes more powerful.
Chato Santana was initially a vain and opportunistic man prone to anger, as he notably used his pyrokinetic powers to his advantage, becoming a powerful gang leader. However, Chato couldn't fully control his powers when enraged, which ultimately resulted in him accidentally killing his wife and two children during an angry family spat. Devastated by his deed, Chato voluntarily surrendered to the authorities and becomes a far more calm, collected, and withdrawn individual than before, not ever wanting to kill another person with his powers.
He initially refuses to join the Suicide Squad, and even after joining, initially refuses to use his powers. Despite being withdrawn though, Chato relatively quickly befriends Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Rick Flag, and is quick to save them from Enchantress' mental probing, which he overpowers due to his superior mental fortitude (as a result of him having become skilled at holding back his rage). Ultimately, Chato dies heroically, going all-out with his powers (as a huge flaming avatar) and sacrificing his life to defeat Incubus and save the world from Enchantress.