A wanted gangster in one of the world’s most poverty ridden cities is being hailed as a “modern-day Robin Hood” after word got out that he kidnapped several nurses and had them vaccinate his community against yellow fever. While the move hasn’t won him much praise from law enforcement, it has helped his image in the community.
“Brazil is currently facing a spike in yellow fever cases and the government has launched a mass vaccination drive to contain the spread,” IBT writes. “But, the administration lacks the resources to cover lifetime vaccination requirements for its massive population. At least 25 deaths have been reported this year from yellow fever. Immunization centers struggle to attend to the high number of patients and in the process, the poor communities or the slums are ignored.”
That’s why Thomaz Vieira Gomes, AKA 2n, stepped in. Gomes is one of the most wanted criminals in Rio de Janeiro. The notorious drug dealer and his gang kidnapped two nurses from the Itauna vaccination post in late January. The nurses were take to Slagueiro, one of the poorest areas in the city, so they could vaccinate the locals.
The gang also provided syringes and vaccine to the slum. They vaccinated kids, parents, and even some gang members.
“The nurses were watched over by the gang members as they administered vaccines to the community, which took about two hours. They were then taken back to the vaccination post by 2N’s people. The nurses told local media the kidnappers were not aggressive and did not hurt them. They told the nurses they had to take this course of action as many from the community were not capable of visiting an immunization center.”
Oddly, the kidnapping went over so well that the kidnapped nurses didn’t report the incident to the police. The city’s Municipal Health Department has decided to do their own investigation into the incident, but no criminal charges have been filed.
Former environment minister Carlos Minc, the former environment minister, spoke out about the conundrum. “The 2N drug dealer from the neighborhood of Salgueiro, São Gonçalo, kidnapped two employees from the health clinic, with boxes of vaccines and syringes”
“He put his gang in line and they were all vaccinated against yellow fever. He’s an asshole, but he organized the public service!”