Brazilian Economist Kidnapped and Abused in His Own Hollywood Apartment

Gustavo BrasileiroThe Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) finally heard Brazilian economist and journalist Gustavo Brasileiro and filed a report regarding his recent assault and kidnapping for four days in his own apartment in Hollywood.

However, despite the charges of violence and the presence of blood in the premises, authorities still haven't visited Brasileiro's apartment to collect blood samples and fingerprints left by his captors and victims who apparently were tortured by them in the apartment.

Brasileiro was held hostage, injected drugs by force from May 16th to May 20th, while the suspects used his credit cards to get cash and make purchases of about US$ 10,000 so far. They have also withdrawn about US$ 12,000 from his bank accounts in Banco do Brasil and Washington Mutual.

On Monday morning, May 25, Brasileiro managed to escape unnoticed from his apartment and was able to go to the police. They ended up coming to his apartment, but despite the police order that the suspects  surrender, they barricaded inside the apartment for nearly 20 minutes and all managed to escape, probably getting to the roof through the apartment's window.

They, however, left behind many of their belongings, including a Florida driver's license, a US passport, a rechargeable ATM card and clothes. The police, however, haven't made any arrest yet.

The majors suspect on this case are Thomas Bahr (male, blond, blue eyes, 40 years old, 6'4", 250 lb), Gerald Feldman (male, brown hair, green eyes, about 38 years old, 6'2", 230 lb) and their gang. Bahr was about to start living at Brasileiro's apartment and was supposed to become the Brazilian economist's helper and body guard.

The Brazilian Ambassador in Washington, Teresa Quintela, has asked Los Angeles authorities to seriously investigate this innovative type of crime, which mix ingredients like: abuse of disabled victim (Gustavo Brasileiro has been blind for the past 2 years) use of syringes loaded with heavy duty drugs, such as methamphetamines, lots of verbal intimidation and hate of minorities, such as gays and Latin American immigrants (Brasileiro is gay).

Brasileiro's Story

Born in 1964 in Recife, capital of the Brazilian Northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brasileiro graduated in Economics at age 21 and began a career at Banco do Brasil where he played an important role in modernizing that financial institution, adjusting it to the changes needed to compete in the free market. He was also instrumental in fighting corruption inside the organization.

In 1997 he established a business consulting company in the United States. Since then Brasileiro has provided business advice for American companies that invest in Brazil.

In 2000, disappointed with the misinformation and stereotyping about Brazil in the international, which for the most part was based in reports made by American correspondents living in Brazil, Brasileiro started the Brazilian Times, a daily news source in English with a Brazilian viewpoint.

In 2004, after several eye surgeries, Brasileiro, who had contracted AIDS, realized that he would go blind very soon. So, he decided to stop his Internet venture. In 2005 he went entirely blind and found himself living in an unknown new dark world in Hollywood.

Despite suggestions that he go back to Brazil the Brazilian economist chose to stay in Los Angeles because of the better medical care he could have here, he also found a new lover and was afraid of living as a blind person in a violent Brazilian city.

After his lover had to move out from Brasileiro's apartment due to a new job in Orange County, Gustavo stayed alone behind. He started searching out for a reliable roommate until he met Thomas Bahr – the guy who ended up kidnapping him – who offered to live with him and provide personal assistance and body guard protection.

Even before Bahr moved in he brought his best friend, Gerald, and at 11 pm of May 16 they started a four-day, four-night session of forced injection of drugs and abuse while they used the apartment for illegal business and apparently prostitution.

Brasileiro says that this is not the time to give more details on his ordeal. He seems very concerned, however, that all the blood now drying off in his bathroom might have been the result of abuse and maybe even murder.


  • Show Comments (6)

  • AES

    It will be interesting to see how fast the Los Angeles Police Department take to capture the perpetraters. How fast they go to trial and how fast they are sentenced and incarcerated.

  • Wesley

    I look the internet for thomas bahr from time to time for i know people have been his victim.He is a pure evil and usually choose transexuals as his victim,b/c they rarely no go the police. he go city to city committing his crime. sometime he can be found on a gayboy escort site called rentaboy as name shaun. I check b/c he has promised to kill 1 i know,so i try to keep eye out for him.dont knoiw if he been caught but hope this help if not

  • ch.c.

    Interesting comments !
    But just to demonstrate how it is just ALL relative is the statement : it has a ridiculously high level of homicide.

    Then what should it be called for Brazil ?

    Brazil has a much higher homicide rate than the USA !!!!!!!!

    And concerning the statement : countries might start taking it as seriously as it should be taken, sorry but has Brazil even started to take seriously as it should be taken, some of the older rankings/ratings they stand at in……doing business, wealth inequality, crime rate, corruption, impunity…..just to name a few ?????

  • Guest

    The Global War Against Humanity (part 2)
    Not surprisingly, though, the countries on the top of the list were the same as usual. Norway, used to leadership in most positive rankings, also ranked 1st in the GPI, followed by New Zealand and Denmark. Other interesting rankings were Japan (5th) and Germany (12th).
    However, there’s no place in the world in which this study could have a more devastating effect than in the U.S. A 96th place is a dreadful shame from which there’s absolutely no chance of escaping. And it’s not all about the Iraq war. The U.S. is, by far, the biggest arms producer in the world; it has a tradition of investing abusive amounts of money in the military, even before 9/11; it has the largest prison inmate population in the world and, for a developed country, it has a ridiculously high level of homicide. Violence is so embedded in the U.S., that it has become part of its pop culture, in a country that regularly makes headlines for being overly conservative with movies, music and TV shows.
    This study could be a real fire starter for American society to see where it’s driving itself to; however, it got surprisingly small coverage in the media. An advanced search on the Google News Engine gives back no mentions from any of the American media giants — I thought I misspelled “Global Peace Index.” After going on each one of the majors’ Web sites, I could find nothing but tiny pieces mentioning the U.S. ranking, and that only after a search; there was nothing close to the subject on the main pages. Maybe it’s an effect of having violence as a part of daily life in America: It gives the impression that certain people in the U.S. would take the 86th place as a compliment.
    Another interesting aspect of the ranking was to see that, while some renowned enemies of the U.S. rank at least as low as their archenemy, some other notable “threats,” as regarded by American people and government, rank considerably better than America. Libya and Cuba, two historical rivals of the U.S., rank 58th and 59th, respectively. China, a country that has been attracting some attention in the U.S. regarding the buildup of its army and the eternal brawl with Taiwan, comes right after, in 60th place.
    For the countries of relevant Arab populations, on the wrong side of president Bush’s “clash of civilizations,” some of them are doing quite well without the model democracy the Bush administration is trying to implement in the Middle East and northern Africa. Oman ranks 22nd, the best among countries with an Arab majority, followed by Qatar (30th), United Arab Emirates (38th), Tunisia (39th), Kuwait (46th), Morocco (48th), Jordan (63rd), Egypt (73rd), Syria (77th) and even Saudi Arabia (90th). Most of these countries are theocracies, some quite rigorous, such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. They might not still be countries where human rights are respected, or where women are free and respected, but the fact that both are less violent than the U.S. must mean that something is deeply wrong with the American way of life as we know it.
    However, for the American defense, at least some of its rivals are not doing well either. Iran, the talk of the moment when it comes to American homeland security, comes right after the U.S., at 97th place. Venezuela ranks 102nd and Russia ranks 118th. North Korea and Afghanistan, for not having reliable data, weren’t included in the ranking, and neither was Haiti, for the same reason.
    They can also argue that, for the media’s sake, Iran is also not an example. The story on the Iranian IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency website makes no mention whatsoever to Iran nor the U.S. and their respective positions on the ranking. Another news website from the country simply says that the U.S. actually ranked lower than Iran on its title, correcting it later on the story.
    Media manipulation apart, this study might be one of the best pieces of news to have come up nowadays. Presenting nothing more than raw data (most of it was already available) and being analyzed by a panel of notables before going to press, it’s an elegant slap in the face of those who perpetrate lies in order to mask the grim reality of their societies.
    The problem is that many, if not most of the governmental authorities will do just like the American and Iranian media and try to play down its relevance, and keep it away from the people’s sight. But the GPI’s intention is to make it an annual list in the near future, with more countries as part of it. As the index gains importance, countries might start taking it as seriously as it should be taken, maybe even guiding their policies by it, as is done nowadays with the Human Development Index or the GDP. As Steve Killelea, the man behind GPI, said when asked about Japan, Germany and Ireland: “so the lesson is that nations can change.”
    À‚©2007 OhmyNews

  • Guest

    The Global War Against Humanity
    U.S. Performs Badly on Global Peace Index
    America ranks 96 in study from the Economist Intelligence Unit
    Alan Mota
    Published 2007-06-02

    The U.S., to many (inside the country, at least) the land of freedom and opportunity, is also a land of violence. According to a study published by the Economist Intelligence Unit — EIU, the renowned think tank associated with the Economist, called the Global Peace Index — GPI, the U.S. ranks 96 out of 121 countries in a ranking that combines a number of data to measure the internal and external peace of each nation.
    Things are not going well for notable U.S. allies as well. Israel ranks 119th, while Colombia and Lebanon, two countries that have been receiving substantial American help (politically and financially) for a while now, rank 116th and 114th, respectively.
    The study took in consideration things such as the number of victims in internal and external conflicts, recent wars in which the countries were involved, military expenditure, relationships with neighboring countries, social tensions among the population and respect for human rights. Some of these categories in particular might have brought down the ranking of certain countries, such as weapons exports, which might explain, at least partially, why France ranks 34th, the U.K., 49th and China, 60th.
    But what this pioneering study has that is revolutionary is its capacity to call attention to issues normally ignored by standard studies (even in the U.N.) and bring down myths at the same time. As the president of the GPI, said, their goal is to go beyond the “standard” wars and analyze “the texture of peace.” By texture of peace, we could use the definition given by Harriet Fulbright from the Fulbright Center, one of the people to analyze the study before its publishing: “Peace isn’t just the absence of war; it’s the absence of violence.”
    That’s exactly why this study matter so much: So far, we’re used to think that peace is only and intrinsically related to two armies (one of them, from our country) facing each other in trenches or launching missiles. But in a world where actual wars are getting scarce, despite the effort from certain countries, violence took a whole new shape and redefined the concept of war. Dozens of American soldiers might be dying every week in Iraq, but the true danger for a regular family in California, for example, is the growth (in numbers and strength) of the white, black, Mexican and Salvadoran gangs in the area, making the streets as unsafe as in a warzone and turning gang brawls into ethnic cleansing.
    About warzones, people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, know better than most. Recently, in a confrontation that lasted almost a month, police officers tried (unsuccessfully) to take back a cluster of shantytowns dominated by a gang of drug dealers; cars and pieces of railtracks were used as barricades, shootings went through nights, and more than 10 people died. Brazil ranked 83th, behind Syria, Jordan and Bosnia — mostly for its overwhelming urban violence.
    This way, this statistic might help bringing down myths that, willingly or not, help perpetuate violence for the lack of serious action by the authorities and pressure by the people. In Brazil, for example, people have a general notion that it can’t get more peaceful than it already is — the last war Brazil was seriously involved into happened more than a 100 years ago. Maybe this ranking will make people and the authorities see the country’s violence problem as a civil war, and act accordingly. Likewise, in the U.K. people might see the 49th place as an indicator of what the Iraq war, along with heavy arms production and exports and social segregation towards immigrants can do, and call for action. The same goes for France, among the top five weapons producers in the world.

  • Roach Coach

    It is strange how a story like this, such as it is, has not been mentioned in the local press of Los Angeles

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