A Special Action is a gameplay feature in Tropico 3 and Tropico 4. El presidente can issue special actions against citizens, in order to help cement a presidente's hold over them, either by getting rid of political opponents or placating people. All of these actions (except the Bribe and Arrange "Accident" action) lower the citizen's and the family's respect.
For $1,000, an arrest warrant can be placed on the citizen, who will be marked with a barred window symbol. An on-duty policeman will travel to the marked citizen and, once there, the two of them will run (not drive) to the nearest free jail cell in a prison or dungeon. In Tropico 3, arrests are mainly good for getting political rivals and dissenting citizens out of the way. Tropico 4, however, introduces criminals who must be arrested before they'll consider a new line of work. After a citizen has been held prisoner for 5 years, they'll be released and allowed to walk free. Unfortunately, a bug sometimes causes prisoners to remain in jail long after their sentence. The only way of "freeing" prisoners stuck in jail like this is with the Off to Florida edict.
For $1,000, a citizen can be scheduled to receive a hefty bribe, marking them with a dollar sign. A working banker will travel to the marked citizen to deliver the bribe, raising the respect of the citizen and their immediate families. Because bribes increase the happiness of the target and their families, they're useful to hand out before an election, especially to factional leaders.
Once a cathedral or diamond cathedral is built, the presidente can have any citizen (even members of the church itself) declared a "heretic" by the clergy for $500, marking them with a red inquisitor's hood. Heretics are ostracized from Tropican society, becoming unable to start or take part in protests, be the leader of a faction, or run for election.
For $500, the presidente can sentence a citizen to death by firing squad, marking them with a crosshair symbol. An on-duty soldier, general, or SWAT member will travel to the citizen and, once in range, open fire on them. The negative effects of eliminations can be reduced by targeting people in remote areas where no one is around to see the incident. The gunman's respect will not go down.
For $3,000, the presidente can target a citizen to suffer an unfortunately fatal "accident," marking them with a small pistol symbol. An on-duty secret agent will travel to the citizen's house and wait for them to arrive, covertly killing them before leaving themselves. "Accidents" are 6 times more expensive than public military eliminations and take much longer to pull off. However, because the death seems accidental, it makes them useful to avoid triggering rebellions or losing votes.