Machete Cortez is a freelance agent.
That really does not describe him but it is the best I can come up with.
The problem is there really is two parts to Machete and some of the pieces seems to conflict with others.
We first meet Machete in the adventure of his niece and nephew, aka the , trying to rescue their parents, their father being the younger brother of Machete. At the time he is busy being a world-class inventor and manufacturer of gadgets used by spy agencies all over the world, including the department his brother worked for, the OSS (see the other series for explanation). Initially he was quite gruff with the young ones because he was on the outs with his brother and had not talked with him for some time. As time goes by, he gets closer to the kids and becomes more of a mentor to them.
That is the nice Machete, growling and snarling though he is prone to do.
Then there is the Machete who had worked for many years as a federal policeman in South of the Border. As we are shown in the DEA database entry on him: "Cortez served as a Federale in the Mexico's Federal Judicial Police Department under the supervision of the Secretariate of Public Security. Before his disappearance he served for fourteen years and acquired the rank of first sergeant. Cortez was decorated twice for bravery and received commendations in 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2004. Although reported as an effective and highly capable officer, Cortez's superiors often noted his disrespect for authority and his unconventionally violent methods he was ... [report snippet ends]".
That dossier file also mentions that Machete was born in 1944 in Juarez, Mexico and stands 5'11" and weights 210 lbs. Looking at him, some of that weight like reside in his belly but enough of it is solid muscle to allow him to wield with incredible ferocity the weapon that gives him his name. The document also shows that he "is fluent in English and Spanish and is known to speak both languages natively. He has ties to Texas and was known to travel into the US with his family along the Texas/Mexico border".
Those sounds like two different people but of course there is nothing that says he can not be both.
A statement I read mentioned that the activitiy in the two movies strictly about Machete is "what Uncle Machete does when he's not taking care of the kids".
An enemy described Machete as "[He's like] CIA, FBI, DEA all rolled into one mean f****in' burrito."
When it is suggested to him that he send a text to someone on a matter, he succinctly states, "Machete don't text".
When later he mentions needing to send a text and is reminded of his earlier statement, he explains, "Machete improvises".
When offered a new identity and a chance to start over, Machete responds, "Why do I want to be a real person when I'm already a myth?"