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Brazil police find makeshift clinics for wounded gangsters

July 24, 2009|Associated Press

ASSOCIATED PRESS RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio drug traffickers have set up makeshift medical clinics in the slums they control so wounded gang members don't have to risk arrest by going to hospitals, police said Thursday.

"It's the first time we've found clinics like this," a police spokesman said. "We can't say how long they've been used -- we assume for some time."

Officers discovered the first clinic Wednesday in the Manguinhos slum in northern Rio. A two-room shack contained blood-stained surgical scissors; morphine, anesthesia, antibiotics and other medicines; and medical equipment such as IVs and X-rays.

Officers then looked for other facilities and quickly found one in the nearby Jacarezinho slum.

Police Chief Allan Turnowski said a number of doctors and nurses who worked in the clinics have been arrested.

"They were making a lot of money" by treating drug gang members, Turnowski said.

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