Even His Victims Are Defending This Alleged Kidnapper

Brazilian gang boss allegedly kidnapped nurses to vaccinate the poor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2018 11:55 AM CST
Ampoules containing diluent solutions for the vaccine against yellow fever are seen in a field hospital in Casimiro de Abreu, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

(Newser) – Wanted gang leader Thomaz Viera Gomez has been dubbed Brazil's very own Robin Hood, thanks to his alleged involvement in what may be one of the most unconventional kidnappings ever, reports Newsweek. That's because the two men Gomez, or "2N," is accused of kidnapping on Jan. 27 are nurses who were ordered to vaccinate residents of one of Rio de Janeiro's slums. According to TV station Telesur, Gomez and his cronies stole syringes and yellow fever vaccines from a vaccination center before forcing the two nurses to leave with them. They then took them to the Salgueiro favela, or slum, where they were instructed to administer vaccinations over two hours. The nurses were then returned to their place of work.

Brazil faced an outbreak of yellow fever, spread by infected mosquitoes, last year. And though government officials said it was over by September, more than half of 53 deaths from yellow fever since July occurred last month, per Tech Times. The nurses told local media the kidnappers weren't aggressive and had only the poor residents of Salgueiro in mind because they didn't have access to vaccination centers. Former environment minister Carlos Minc went as far as to describe his latest act as a "public service," per Telesur. In another incident lending to his Robin Hood persona, Gomez is said to have caused a riot last March after throwing bunches of cash to locals in Salgueiro.

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