Thomaz Vieira Gomes, also known as 2N, is considered one of the most dangerous criminals in Rio de Janeiro, but recently he actually did something decent, albeit still illegal, for once. He and his gang kidnapped two male nurses and made them vaccinate the poor people of his favela against yellow fever.
For months, Brazil has been dealing with a yellow fever epidemic that has already left dozens dead. Despite the Health Ministry’s plans to vaccinate millions of people in the hopes of containing the outbreak, immunization centers struggle to keep up with the high number of patients, and, as always, the poorest communities are usually ignored. That was apparently the case of Salgueiro, one of the poorest regions of Rio de Janeiro, and the headquarters of 2N’s drug dealing operations. So he decided to speed up the process by using a very familiar technique, kidnapping.
On January 27th, the young gang leader and a few of his cronies descended on a local state-run clinic in two black cars, took as many syringes and vaccine doses as they could find, and kidnapped two of the male nurses on duty that night. They then drove to the Amarelinho bar in Salgueiro where the two nurses spent hours administering yellow fever vaccines to members of the local community.
In their report, the two health workers stated that the kidnappers were not aggressive and had only carried out the criminal action because many Salgueiro residents were not able to visit immunization centers to get their yellow fever shot. After doing their job, the two victims were reportedly taken back to their workplace.
The Rio de Janeiro police department was not alerted about the kidnapping, but the Municipal Health Department has announced that it will investigate the situation.
News of the kidnapping went viral on Brazilian social media earlier this month, with many praising 2N as a sort of modern-day Robin Hood. Even the country’s former Minister of Environment took to Twitter to comment on this bizarre story, saying that while 2N is still an “a-hole” his actions were a “public service”.
Thomaz Vieira Gomes, aka 2N, is one of the most wanted criminals in Rio de Janeiro, with authorities offering a $3,000 reward to anyone who can offer information aiding to his capture.